Romelu Lukaku, Man United to make Champions League return vs. Basel


You have got to play against teams who want to beat Manchester United.

Stoke are the only side to have scored against United this season but there will be a new look back four for the visit of Basel with Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling in for the suspended Eric Bailly and Phil Jones.

Publicly, the players believe that reacclimatising themselves may take time and Jose Mourinho is of the same mind - even if he effectively revealed nothing less than reaching the last 16 will do.

Basel, the Swiss Super League champions in each of the last eight seasons, are winless in their last eight games in UEFA competitions, with five losses.

United's squad flourished in the Europa League and that will help somewhat - but Michael Carrick is the only Champions League victor in the entire squad, with Paul Pogba a losing finalist.

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"Obviously, Mourinho has won the trophy before so we're going to be there or thereabouts, but whether we've got the players to go the whole way, I don't know." said Ryan on Jose's experience in Europe's elite competition.

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"I don't think Bailly and Jones are better than Smalling and Lindelof".

He talked about this being United's natural habit but that more than applies to the Portuguese, too. "There is a reason for Eric and Jones to be anxious because Victor is very good". "It will be weird to see Wayne playing with a different shirt, to be honest, but this is the decision he made last summer and we wish him the best of luck".

Mourinho often gives the impression of a protective father when discussing the qualities of Marouane Fellaini in front of the media. They've netting 12 goals in four Premier League encounters, scoring six times in two Old Trafford outings.

According to FiveThirtyEight's Soccer Power Index (SPI), United enter with an 86 percent chance of advancing beyond Group A, while Basel hold just a 12 percent chance of doing so. The Old Trafford club are level on points with cross-town rivals Manchester City but lead the table on goal difference, as per the National.

The Champions League group stage starts this week with Real Madrid looking to win Europe's top club competition for a third straight year, a feat not achieved since Bayern Munich in the 1970s.

And Mourinho has tried to temper expectations before Basle arrive at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, citing a cluster of superpowers who are way ahead of them.