Fink caught up in a storm

Manager Thorsten Fink was forced to apologise for a rant against

opposition fans on Saturday. During their Schweizer Cup match

against second-tier side Servette, which they needed extra-time and

penalties to negotiate, Fink became enraged at a section of the

home support, making a gesture to them and apparently calling them

“bums”. A penitent Fink said afterwards: “It was not about the

referee or an opponent, but two or three fans were being offensive.

“There were no racist comments, but something of that nature

provoked me. I’m sorry.” Fink needs quickly to shift the focus to

matters on the pitch as the two bottom sides in Group E prepare to

clash at St Jakob-Park. The equation is the same for both teams – a

win would keep them in with a chance of qualifying for the knockout

stages, while anything less could spell the end. Extra time was the

last thing the side needed with such an important game on the

horizon, with Alex Frei and Benjamin Huggel both playing 60 minutes

off the bench when Fink had hoped to rest them. “The thing that

annoyed me is that we have lost fitness before the game Tuesday,”

said the coach. And there was worse news for Fink, who saw two more

players pick up injuries in the game. On top of the already

sidelined Marco Streller and Valentin Stocker, Scott Chipperfield

injured a calf while Jacques Zoua sustained a muscular problem.

Both Basle and Cluj have three points – three fewer than

second-placed Roma – and are relying to some extent on the result

of the group’s other game between the Italian side and Bayern

Munich, who boast a perfect record. Cluj currently sit above the

Swiss team having won the fixture between the two sides back in

September, while Basle’s only points came, impressively, from a win

at Roma. Cluj are suffering a miserable season domestically,

sitting a lowly eighth in the table, although they are unbeaten in

five league games.