Group A: Mourinho 'confident' in Lindelof ahead of UCL bow

Victor Lindelof will return to the Manchester United side against Basel but Jose Mourinho does not fear any Champions League nerves.

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof will make his Champions League debut against Basel.   -  Getty Images

Jose Mourinho insists he has no concerns about starting Victor Lindelof in Manchester United's Champions League clash with Basel on Tuesday.

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

With Phil Jones and Eric Bailly suspended, Lindelof and Chris Smalling are set to start at the heart of United's defence against the Swiss champion.

But Mourinho believes the 23-year-old is better suited to European competition after regular appearances during his four years in Lisbon.


Group B: PSG finally ready to make a mark;

Group C: Atletico, Roma ready for key CL clash

Group D: Allegri wants 'aggressive' Juventus at Camp Nou

"There is no need for him to adapt to the Champions league but he needs a bit of time to adapt to the Premier league, especially the new Premier League," Mourinho told a news conference.

"He is very bright and very clam and step by step he will be there. I am more than confident for tomorrow [Tuesday], he is a very good player with a very good potential.

"Even if Bailly and Jones were not suspended, probably I would still play Lindelof and Smalling. They are at the same level, they are just different players."

David de Gea, whom Mourinho confirmed will start the match despite his decision to rotate goalkeepers in the Europa League last season, does not see any problem with playing behind a new defensive partnership.

"I feel really well with all my defenders," the Spaniard said. "They are all great defenders."

Marouane Fellaini remains a doubt for the match as he has yet to recover from a calf problem picked up while on international duty with Belgium.

The midfielder did not train on Monday but Mourinho hopes he will be available, insisting he is a crucial part of his plans.

"He had a [calf] problem with his national team and then he played a match against Greece, and after the match he felt the problem. If his condition improves he will be selected, because I need him," he said.

"He's a very important player for me, much more important than you can imagine."

Elsewhere, Portugal champion Benfica, which has won the domestic league for the past four seasons, will host Russian side CSKA Moscow in the other Group A fixture.

Opta stats:


- Basel is unbeaten against United at Old Trafford, having drawn its two trips to North-West England (1-1 in March 2003, 3-3 in September 2011).
- United has reached the knockout stages in 16 of its previous 20 Champions League appearances; however it has not made it past the group stages since 2013-14.
- Basel is winless in its last 10 Champions League games (D4 L6), its longest drought in the competition. It has also not scored more than one goal in those 10 games.
- Jose Mourinho is taking part in the Champions League with a fifth different club after Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Only Carlo Ancelotti (7), Rafael Benitez and Claudio Ranieri (6) have taken charge of more clubs in the competition.
- Paul Pogba has only scored two goals in 32 Champions League games.


- Benfica has not made it any further than the quarter-finals of the Champions League since 1992-93.
- Benfica and CSKA Moscow's only previous encounter was in the last 32 of the 2004-05 UEFA Cup. The Russian side progressed thanks to a 2-0 home win and 1-1 draw in Lisbon; it went on to lift the trophy later that season.
- CSKA is making its 11th Champions League appearance – its fifth in a row. That is the second most for a Russian side after Spartak Moscow (12).
- CSKA is winless in its last 10 Champions League games (D4 L6), equaling its longest run without a victory in the competition. Away from home, it has lost 11 of its last 13 Champions League games (W1 D1).
- This is Viktor Goncharenko's fourth Champions League campaign as manager, after three previous appearances with BATE Borisov. He was the first manager to lead a Belarusian team into the group stages of the competition.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :