Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof will be Manchester United’s central defenders for the club’s Champions League clash with Basel on Tuesday.
According the manutd.com, The Red Devil’s will host the Swiss outfit in their opening Group A match without first choice central-pairing Phil Jones and Eric Bailly who have both picked up suspensions.
Speaking about Jones’ absence the Portuguese manager said:
“He’s [Jones] playing well for us. He’s probably tired with two consecutive matches with the national team but he cannot play on Tuesday so it’s good that on Tuesday he gets his rest.”
Smalling and Lindelof will start for Mourinho’s men for the first team since the club’s 2-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Super Cup during pre-season.
United return to Europe’s biggest competition after a year’s absence as they won the Europa League in Mourinho’s first season on the red side of Manchester.
Benfica will pose the biggest threat to the League Cup holders in Group A but a taxing trip to CSKA Moscow may prove a banana skin as they attempt to progress out of the Champions League group stages for the first time since the 2013/14 season.