Match preview: Manchester United vs FC Basel
Date: 13 September 2017
Time: 7:45 pm CET/ 00:15 am IST
Broadcast: Sony ten 1 & Sony ten 1 HD/ Sky sports/ BT Sport2
Live stream: BT sport live/ Uefa.com
Manchester United makes a return the Uefa Champions league after a year absence as Swiss Champions Basel arrives at Old Trafford.
Quite a remarkable European campaig for Jose Mourinho’s men last season as the Red devils lifted the Europa league trophy to book a berth in this season’s Champions league group stage defeating Dutch club Ajax at Stockholm Arena in Sweden. They finished 6th in the Premier league in that campaign and this came as a huge success for them.
Having missed out in the last season, pressure was very much high on the Portuguese coach when he took charge of the club in place of Louis Vaan Gal. Jose kept his promise at Stockholm when strikes from Paul Pogba and Henrick Mkhitariyan gave all important 2-0 victory.
Now they are back on the greatest club football competition and are looking for a home victory to start of their journey in the Champions league.
Visitors Basel competed last season in the competition but finished last in a group which contained the likes of Arsenal, PSG and Ludogorets Razgard. Expectations are high from the Swiss side as they battle out this time to qualify for the last 16 stage of the competition. Having clinched their 8th title in the domestic league, they automatically qualified for the group stage.
This is a Group A clash between this two. The group also contain Portuguese league winner SL Benfica and Russian club CSKA Moskva. That means United are placed in a relatively easy group and must seized every opportunity to move further in the competition. The man in red had done some brilliant signing in this summer. The most famous to be Romelu Lukaku’s move from Everton for 72 million pounds. The Belgian had an instant impact in his new club scoring four in four games in the premier league. The attacking strength was further upgraded with the introduction of Nemanja Magic from Chelsea, another terrific signing. His defensive as well as attacking quality already helped United to settle themselves at the top of the league chart before this clash. United are hot favourites to win Group A and qualify then onwards to round of 16.
Basel however may look back to the memories they brought from old Trafford where they caused immense trouble to the Manchester club and are unbeaten in previous two visits. They caused a mishap in 2011/12 campaign when they almost pulled up a historic victory over the English side but at last the game ended 3-3. But the team doesn’t look organized this time and were crushed by English opposition Arsenal last time out(4-1 at home & 2-0 away)
Manchester United only managed a point in the game against Stoke drawing 2-2 away at the Britannia stadium. But United are devastating at home and had scored 10 and coincided none in three home games in the Premier league, also they are unbeaten in 18 home games in European competition.
Fc Basel are without a win in last eight European fixtures home and away (D3 L5). They lost to Laussane sport 2-1 at home this weekend in the Swiss league.
Manchester United are without defensive pair Phil Jones and Eric Bailey through suspension. Chris Smalling and new signing Victor Lindelof are likely to replace them. Fellani along with Ashley Young and Luke Shaw are doubtful.
Basel are without Stanjovic due to ankle injury
MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea, Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Blind, Matic, Pogba, Mata, Martial, Mkhitariyan, Lukaku
FC BASEL: Vaselic, Lang, Suchi, Akaji, Riveros, Zuffi, Xhaka, Steffen, Elnoussi, Bua, Wolfswinkel.