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Basel: Visitors could make life easier for us

BASEL boss Christian Gross expects to face a more attack-minded Hearts in tonight’s UEFA Cup showdown in Switzerland now that John Robertson is in charge - and the hosts insist that will play straight into their hands.

The Jambos adopted a conservative approach in Europe under Craig Levein with the focus on making the team hard to beat. But his replacement in the Tynecastle hot seat has already vowed to play a more open game and will name an attacking formation in the Stadion St Jakob Park as Hearts go for the win they need to kick start their Group A campaign.

But that could well prove their downfall, according to Basel’s Australian internationalist Scott Chipperfield.

"We are a good attacking side who get forward well and if the game is open and fast then that will suit us," he said.

"Hopefully we can get a few goals and put the pressure on them because we know if we beat them they cannot qualify from the group."

Chipperfield is a Socceroo team-mate of Gorgie star Patrick Kisnorbo, who is banned for tonight’s clash, and he has pinpointed striker Mark de Vries as the man they will have to look out for.

"We watched Hearts play Schalke and De Vries put himself about a bit when he came on as a substitute," he said. "He is a big physical player but we have big players, too. We are expecting a tough, physical match but are confident we can win."

With both teams needing a win - Basel drew their opening match against Schalke - Gross is expecting an exciting 90 minutes.

"We have seen Hearts several times and have respect for them. They have changed their manager and John Robertson has made some changes. I expect them to be more offensive and believe Dennis Wyness, Ramon Pereira and Mark de Vries will all start."

Taken from the Scotsman

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