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Lallana's Champions League dream

Adam Lallana Credit: PA

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is fulfilling a childhood dream by finally playing in the Champions League.

The 26-year-old is in line for his second start having played for just over an hour in the Reds' late victory over Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets last month and - after missing the start of the season with a knee injury - is now looking for game time to get up to speed with his team-mates.

"I've always dreamt about playing in this competition as a kid," said the £25million summer signing from Southampton ahead of their Group B match in Basle.

"I feel I am more or less there (on fitness). I knew it was going to be tough, I am just delighted to be back playing for such a fantastic club.

"I think it gives you more game opportunities to get up to speed, to knit with the group and your new team-mates.

"It is obviously a tough competition and there is no easy game but, to take the positives out of it, it is another game."

– Adam Lallana

Manager Brendan Rodgers will be hoping for a good performance from Lallana against Basle, with England striker Daniel Sturridge not yet fit to return from a thigh strain.

The Swiss side have begun their season with seven wins in 10 league matches, although they were over-run by Real Madrid 5-1 in their opening Champions League match.

Liverpool return to the scene of one of their embarrassing Champions League exits as Basle's St Jakob Park was the venue in 2002 for their 3-3 draw - having been held 1-1 at home - which saw them exit the group stages.


City face uphill battle after Champions League draw

Manchester City were left facing another uphill battle to advance in the Champions League after an unconvincing 1-1 draw at home to Roma.

Sergio Aguero's fourth-minute penalty was cancelled out by a superbly-taken equaliser from the evergreen Francesco Totti in a clash at the Etihad Stadium dominated by the Italian side.

The result left City third with just one point from their opening two games in Group E and already five behind leaders Bayern Munich. They next face CSKA Moscow in crucial back-to-back games starting with a trip to the Russian capital in three weeks.

"We didn't play well, especially in the first half. We improved in the second half but I think the draw was the real (right) thing for both teams."

"We hope the next game in Russia we can win and we will see what happens against Bayern Munich,"

"We have 12 more points to fight (for) and we will fight to the end to try and qualify."

– Manuel Pellegrini


Pellegrini: My team has the personality to beat Europe's top sides

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini Credit: PA

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says his side finally have the right personality to compete with the big guns in Europe.

When asked what was he was looking for in a Man City team that hasn't been there in previous years, Pellegrini told ITV's Gabriel Clarke: "I want to see personality and this team has the personality."

"Every time you play in the Champions league you have more experience and now we have the personality to go and play away the same as we play here (at home)."

"It was frustrating last year, we won our three games away and now we must continue in this manner, in the same way we played Bayern Munich this year. We didn't win but the team tried to do their best and I'm sure that we will do it - we will qualify.

Watch: ITV Sport interview here

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