Manchester United v Basel – Champions League Preview 12/09/2017
Manchester United lost their 100% in the EPL last weekend when held to a 2-2 draw at Stoke City. Jose Mourinho’s side will look to resume winning ways at home to Basel in their opening Champions League fixture on Tuesday night.
United’s successful venture into the transfer market in the summer appears to have given them a cutting edge. That was sadly missing last season as they continuously failed to take their opportunities.
Romelu Lukaku is largely responsible for the transition, although the signing of Nemanja Matic has also proved significant. With the former Chelsea man anchoring the midfield, Paul Pogba has been given the license to roam. Pogba cost United £90m last year, a fee which has been overshadowed by the bazaar events of the summer.
Pogba has already been on the score-sheet away at West Ham and Swansea. He almost added Stoke to the list, only for his header to be accidentally blocked by team-mate Marcus Rashford. The latter took a giant stride towards cementing his England place when scoring for his national side last week.
United will be without Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly on Tuesday night. The central defence will be manned by Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof. David de Gea will start in goal, unlike in the Europa League last season when Sergio Romero was a regular starter. The Reds ultimately won that competition to return to the Champions League for the first time since 2015.
These two sides have met four times previously in the Champions League. Each has one victory with two matches drawn. Basel drew 1-1 at Old Trafford in 2003 and shared a six-goal thriller here in 2011.
The Swiss side have not won any of their last ten Champions League fixtures, drawing four and losing six. They have not managed to score more than once in that spell. Coach Raphael Wicky will be having his first match in the competition. He did represent Hamburg in the Champions League as a player but was on the losing side in all four appearances.
This is Basel’s eighth appearance in the Champions League and they are yet to go beyond the last sixteen. United are expected to brush them aside here and a winning margin of three or more goals makes some appeal.
Champions League Betting Tips 12/09/2017
Manchester United to win by 3 goals or more @2.4 Betfair
Paul Pogba to score and United win @3.0 Betfair