Manchester United return to Champions League action for the first time in two years this evening when we take on Swiss champions FC Basel at Old Trafford.
Following our 2-2 draw at Stoke on Saturday and with Everton coming up at the weekend I think we’ll see Jose Mourinho rotate our team against the side that were drawn from pot 3.
Here is the team I can see the boss going with to face Basel:
David de Gea
Mourinho has already confirmed that he will not rotate his goalkeepers as he did in last season’s Europa League. Therefore David de Gea is set to continue ahead of Sergio Romero.
After playing in South America little more than a week ago and starting versus Stoke at the weekend I think Antonio Valencia will be rested this evening. We don’t have too many options at right-back so Matteo Darmian should switch sides from where he started at the Britannia Stadium.
Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are both suspended and Mourinho has already confirmed that Victor Lindelof will start this game. The Swede who joined from Benfica over the summer started the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid but has yet to taste Premier League action.
Two suspensions mean Chris Smalling also starts this one. The England international has been named on the bench in our Premier League matches recently, suggesting he’s Mourinho’s third-choice centre-back right now.
The Dutch international should get a recall at left-back after being rested over the weekend. Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young are all absent so Daley Blind only has Darmian as competition currently.
The 36-year-old could make his first start of the season to give Nemanja Matic a rest. Though Michael Carrick may have to compete with Ander Herrera, whom only made his first Premier League start at the weekend, I think we’ll actually see these two partner in front of the back four and Paul Pogba pushed forward into the number 10.
Many of us United fans are hoping to see Ander Herrera start more games as much as anything else and I think tonight is the perfect opportunity for the Spaniard to start. A game in which we should expect most of the possession and territory is perfect for Herrera and Paul Pogba to combine in midfield.
The playmaker was rested over the weekend but I think Juan Mata will return to the starting XI to face Basel. I can’t rule out Jesse Lingard either as Mourinho likes him and the England international did get a late run out at Stoke.
Mourinho could use this game to give Henrikh Mkhitaryan a breather and give the energetic Paul Pogba a more attacking role as he played at times last season. The French international has been involved in the goals domestically and in this position he could easily get on the scoresheet tonight.
As Marcus Rashford started on Saturday I think Anthony Martial will be rotated in down the left wing. Don’t be surprised if the England international is brought on as an impact sub if needed.
There’s no reason to switch striker for this game as Romelu Lukaku has made an excellent start and needs some Champions League experience under his belt.
Here is how I think United will line up: