By John Ryan
- United to make it five wins out of five in Champions League
- Qualification for last sixteen could be confirmed by the time United kick-off
Ten goals for and one against. That is the most impressive statistic about Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United in this season’s Champions League.
Seventeen months into his reign as Manchester United manager. Mourinho has won two trophies and has his team top of their Champions League Group and second in the English Premier League.
It is a reasonable achievement given the underperformance of recent seasons. Against FC Basel tonight a point will take United through as group winners. Mean a possibly better draw in the last sixteen.
With Paul Pogba back United looked refreshed against Newcastle. Pogba scored and had an assist but his overall energy trickery and passing added a heartbeat to United’s team.
What is mouth watering for United fans. Is how Mourinho the magician weaves Zlatan and Lukaku together as a frontal combination.
Add Antony Martial and Marcus Rashford to the mix and suddenly the manager has striking options similar to what was at the club in the 98-99 season.
Several Players Still Missing For Mourinho
Rojo, Carrick, Young, Jones & Bailly all miss out for United. Basel are without former Norwich player Ricky Van Wolfswinkel but that apart are full strength.
If Basel can win they give themselves a great chance of playing in the last sixteen.
Their last three games at home to English opposition have seen two one nil wins and in thirteen fixtures at home to English opposition Basel have never failed to score.
Manchester United have their work cut out so the question is does the Manager go for the win or be happy with a point?
United now have a huge artillery waiting to take on any opposition. If as expected they claim a knockout spot, no side will want to draw them there.
Mourinho is a king of knockout football and in the art of getting through over two legs. Tonight comes first though and the hope is that Pogba starts and continues the vigour shown last Saturday.
Many questioned his fee but it took a lengthy spell out of the team for everyone to see how valuable he is.
What is more likely is that the manager doesn’t start him and United become the first English team to stop Basel from scoring.
Verdict FC Basel 0-2 Manchester United with Zlatan coming on to score.