FC Basel vs Manchester United: Three players who must start

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United can guarantee their place at the top of Group A in the Champions League with a win over FC Basel on Wednesday night.

Four straight wins, during which Man United have only conceded once, means that a point in Switzerland will suffice to take Jose Mourinho’s men through.

But they will be determined to build on a superb display against Newcastle inspired by Paul Pogba’s return to the starting XI over the weekend.

And with that in mind, here are three players who Mourinho must start for United’s visit to the Swiss champions.

Paul Pogba

The Frenchman’s inclusion really goes without saying. His return on Saturday, which saw him claim a goal, an assist and the ‘Man of the Match’ award, injected life and innovation into a side that had seen their creative impetus regress over October.

Any team that lost a player of Pogba’s natural brilliance in the middle for two months would suffer, and Mourinho will be determined to keep the feel good factor alive by giving him a chance to finally dazzle on the biggest of European stages in a United shirt.

Marouane Fellaini

We should not ignore the importance of Fellaini’s return to action along with the likes of Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo.

The midfielder got the ball rolling for United in Europe with a powerful header against Basel back in September and his boisterous presence will come in handy against a side that will, no doubt, go for United’s jugular from minute one.

Nobody has quite figured out how to deal with the Belgian so far this season and Basel boss Raphael Wicky won’t want to see him lurking in the box on Wednesday.

Victor Lindelof

After nearly three months of waiting, Lindelof was finally handed a Premier League start over the weekend and enjoyed a confident outing alongside Chris Smalling, despite a poor slip that let Dwight Gayle score early on.

His confidence will be at its highest for some time after helping his country reach the World Cup and successfully proving himself in the Premier League in the space of a week. Mourinho would be wise to give him another chance to prove his critics wrong in Switzerland.

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