John Barnes: European progress can inspire Liverpool to top four
John Barnes reckons morale-boosting Champions League win could help domestic form
John Barnes is optimistic that victory over Basel on Tuesday could inspire Liverpool to a top-four finish this season.
The Reds need to beat their Swiss opponents to guarantee a second-place finish behind Real Madrid in Group B and progression to the Champions League last 16.
I know getting through in Europe means extra games but I think it would actually help our league form
And former Liverpool midfielder Barnes reckons a morale-boosting European win could inspire Brendan Rodgers’s side in the Premier League.
“It’s a big game for Liverpool,” Barnes told Liverpool Echo.
“If we can beat Basel then it will give a lot of confidence to everyone.
“I know getting through in Europe means extra games but I think it would actually help our league form knowing that come February we’ll still have Champions League football along with the big boys.
“Basel are strong at home but less impressive away and I expect Liverpool to win.
“The fans will have a big part to play. They need to stay with the team.
“We’ve seen in the past that nights like this can go down to the wire. It probably won’t be straightforward.
“If we don’t score in the first half both players and fans will need to be patient. If the fans get frustrated then the players will become nervous.
“Against Stoke we weren’t playing particularly well but the fans stayed with the team and we saw what happened with the late winner.”