Basel boss Raphael Wicky backs side to 'surprise' Manchester City

Basel coach Raphael Wicky is confident his side can spring a surprise against runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.

The Swiss Super League champions host Pep Guardiola's formidable side in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at St Jakob-Park on Tuesday.

It is a daunting task and Wicky accepts Basel are likely to see much less of the ball than City, but he is not fazed by the challenge.

The former Switzerland international, whose side beat Manchester United during the group stage, said: "If we are to fight in such competitions we need a perfect game, a perfect day and to show a lot of courage. We need the spectators to help us too.

"So we need a perfect night to stage a surprise but we have the belief we can do it.

"We have to be realistic. We won't have 50-60 percent ball possession. That's clear, no team has that against them.

"We need to be compact and be careful but there will be moments when we have the ball. We have to show courage and try to be active.''

Wicky concedes he has "no real tactical strategy'' to combat a City side that have shown few flaws this season, losing only twice in all competitions.

Wicky said of City: "I think the team has, basically, no weaknesses. They show that every three days in all the competitions they participate in.

"We don't need to talk about the quality of the players or the coach - you can see his way of football, his philosophy. We saw it at Barcelona and Bayern and we see it now at City.''

Basel are hopeful defender Eder Balanta and midfielder Luca Zuffi will overcome injuries to feature.

Captain Marek Suchy also has a high opinion of City.

The Czech said: "They are one of the best teams now. They are doing really well and for me they are a top favourite for the title in the Champions League.''