Man United's Mourinho recalls Smalling and Lindelof for Basel game

12 September 2017, 12:26 | Kristine Mills

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As the group stage of the UEFA Champions League opens this Tuesday, there are records in the offing.

Mourinho's predecessor Louis van Gaal was sacked, despite lifting the FA Cup, due to a failure to qualify for the competition.

And the Spain global has reason to be confident, conceding only two goals in United's opening four games of the Premier League season.

After a season out of Europe's premier club competition, United return to Champions League action against FC Basel - the outfit at which the Stoke midfielder began his professional career. United are among the favourites behind only Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Barcelona.

"Even if Bailly and Jones were not suspended, probably I would still play Lindelof and Smalling".

"Juventus, because they were champions in Italy three months in advance, they could play... with the second team and arrive fresh for the quarter-final, the semi-final, the final of the Champions League".

Wayne Rooney had never played a European club fixture before scoring a hat trick for United against Fenerbahce in the Champions League on his debut.

But for the United manager, he is simply focusing on getting out of Group A ahead of Basel, Benfica and CSKA Moscow.

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United are 6/4 to win by more than two goals.

Lindelof has not played in the Premier League since his £31 million move from Benfica in the summer and Mourinho has suggested the Swede may be more suited to games in Europe. United qualified by winning the Europa League.

"Goodness knows, we had too many free-kicks against us, but that wasn't because we're a physical team, it was because the referee misinterpreted too many things in my view".

"But no complaining this is what we have, we have squads and if we think they're exhausted we play with other players". "They could do it and they arrived at the Champions League final with a fresh team".

Meanwhile, Wicky is expected to set his side up defend deep to thwart the Manchester United attack at bay, while attacking themselves on the counter in order to take a shock result away from Old Trafford. "If his condition improves he will be selected, because I need him", he said.

Manchester United booked their place in the group stage of the Champions League thanks to their Europa League triumph last season, after they missed out on a top-four finish in the Premier League.

The Sweden global, a €35million signing from Benfica, has not made an appearance since a hard debut in the 2-1 UEFA Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid.

He said: "It was hard to watch the Champions League games on the TV last season".



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