Preview: Manchester United Vs Basel

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Setting the scene… After an impressive start to the Premier League season with 10 points from a possible 12, United’s attentions now turn to the European campaign. The Reds will look to carry the early season form into Europe, in the hope of marking the return to the Champions League with a win at Old Trafford on Tuesday night when Jose Mourinho’s men face FC Basel in the first Group A game.

 

How can I watch it?

The game kicks off at 19:45 BST and will be broadcast live on BT Sport in the UK.

Subscribers of  on Sky or Virgin Media, the club’s MUTV app or online at mutv.com will be able to watch build-up from 17:45 BST on the Match Day show and listen to radio commentary of the game before watching it in full from midnight. You can also keep up with all the action as it happens via ManUtd.com’s live match blog and by following our official Twitter account @ManUtd.


How have FC Basel started the season? 

The reigning Swiss champions got their domestic season off to the worst possible start when they lost 2-0 to BSC Young Boys on the opening day of the 2017/18 campaign. Raphael Wicky’s side got into their stride thereafter, but went down to a 2-1 defeat at home against Lausanne-Sport on Saturday.

 

 

Having won the Swiss title for the last eight seasons in a row, FC Basel will be expected to do the same this term, and they will be looking to impress on the European stage as well.

Any team news for me? 

United will be without the suspended Phil Jones and Eric Bailly, and Mourinho said after the draw at Stoke that Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof will replace them at the heart of the defence.

Jose Mourinho confirmed in his pre-match press conference that David De Gea will start in goal and while the manager admitted there was a doubt over Marouane Fellaini’s fitness (calf), the midfielder did train on Monday.


Have we faced FC Basel before?

Yes, we have played the Swiss outfit on four occasions in the past, each match coming in the Champions League group stages. The Reds won the first game 3-1, away in 2002, before drawing 1-1 at Old Trafford in the return fixture in 2003.

The sides played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Old Trafford in September 2011 and FC Basel came out on top in the return fixture of the 2011/12 campaign as a winning goal from Alexander Frei handed them all three points and knocked the Reds out of the group stage in the process.

Last time we were in Europe… 

Of course, as we all know United’s last European match was the Europa League final, in which Jose Mourinho’s men beat Ajax 2-0 in Stockholm. The Reds won nine of the 14 games en route to the final and were unbeaten throughout the knock-out stages.

United have not featured in Europe’s premier competition since the 2015/16 season, when the Reds failed to make it past the group stage.

Who is the referee?

Ruddy Buquet of France will take charge of Tuesday’s encounter at the Threatre of Dreams. The 40-year-old, who is a commercial agent by day, has been an international referee since 2011 and officiating regularly in the French top-flight, Ligue 1, since 2008.

He leads a French team of officials including linesmen Guillaume Debart and Frederic Cano, fourth official Cyril Gringore, and additional assistants Amaury Delerue and Francois Letexier.

Did you know?

 2017/18 marks the 50th anniversary of the famous 1967/68 season, when Sir Matt Busby guided United to a first ever triumph on the European stage.

In that campaign Busby’s side, which included all-time greats such as Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law, overcame the Maltese champions Hibernians, Yugoslavian side FC Sarajevo, Polish outfit Gornik Zabrze, Spanish giants Real Madrid and Eusebio’s Benfica on the route to glory.


Rivals watch…

Tuesday 12 September (All 19:45 BST)
Chelsea v Qarabag
Olympiacos v Sporting
Benfica v CSKA Moscow
Bayern Munich v Anderlecht
Roma v Atletico Madrid
Barcelona v Juventus
Celtic v Paris Saint Germain

Wednesday 13 September (All 19:45 BST)
Liverpool v Sevilla
Porto v Besiktas
Real Madrid v Apoel Nicosia
Shakhtar Donetsk v Napoli
Maribor v Spartak Moskva
RB Leipzig v Monaco
Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund
Feyenoord v Manchester City

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