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Thursday, February 17, 2005 

Basel - Lille (Uefa Cup Preview)

New FC Basel 1893 defender Patrick Müller insists his side will not be at a disadvantage in the first leg of their UEFA Cup Round of 32 tie at home to LOSC Lille Métropole on Thursday despite not playing a league match in over two months.

Basel debut
The Swiss leaders last played a league game on 11 December, but Müller, who will be making his debut after signing from RCD Mallorca, does not believe the lack of competitive matches will hamper them against Ligue 1's in-form side.

'Give everything'
"Of course we can't compare practice games to real matches, but we've prepared against top teams and are highly motivated to finally start playing again," he said. "We'll give everything to beat them."

Total respect
Müller knows Lille well after spending three-and-a-half years in France with Olympique Lyonnais and he is full of respect for the northern side. "I've lost a lot of matches against Lille," Müller said. "It will be very important for us to win as many tackles as possible."

'Outstanding team'
While Basel have been enjoying a break from league action, Lille have been busy consolidating second spot in Ligue 1. In addition, after qualifying as Group H winners, Claude Puel's side are looking forward to the knockout stages with confidence. "Basel are an outstanding team in Switzerland, but we're going there to win, as we do for every match," Puel said.

Landrin injured
Lille are without midfield players Christophe Landrin (broken rib) and Jean Makoun (knee), while defender Rafael Schmitz is suspended. Tony Sylva, Milenko Acimovic and Benoît Angbwa were all rested for last weekend's impressive 3-2 French Cup win against RC Lens, but should return at St. Jakob-Park. Basel coach Christian Gross is without the injured Murat Yakin but new signing Reto Zanni should feature.

Source: Uefa.com

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