Teams: Manchester United v FC Basel Venue: Old Trafford Competition: UEFA Champions League Last Match: Stoke City 1 – 1 Man United Kick Off: 19 45 on TV on Sky Sports HD
After picking up an important point in Gameweek One, against Benfica, United welcome Swiss Champions, FC Basel, to the Theatre of Dreams tonight as they look to secure a place in the knock-out stages of Champions League once again.
Headline Team News
Rio Ferdinand starts his second match in four days despite his recent injury problems.
Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen are on the bench, despite injuries to Rooney and Hernandez.
Darren Fletcher doesn’t start, against the team that he made his debut against in 2003.
Substitutes: Lindegaard, Park, Nani, Fletcher, Owen, Berbatov, Diouf.
Key Clash- Phil Jones v Alexander Frei
With 9 goals in his past 5 games for FC Basel (and 48 in his 64 appearances for the club), Frei will be looking to use all his experience to get the better of Manchester United’s new boy-wonder, Phil Jones.
Averaging a goal exactly every other game for Switzerland (42 goals in 84 caps), Frei most certainly has the pedigree to worry United’s defence and is likely to be Basel’s main threat throughout the match.
One To Watch- Granit Xhaka
With their brightest young star, Xherdan Shaqiri, suspended for this fixture, Basel will be looking towards birthday-boy, Granit Xhaka, to provide some creativity in their midfield during this fixture.
Having made his international debut for Switzerland against England, at Wembley, the 19 year-old is a combative box-to-box midfielder who will most certainly hassle Carrick and Anderson all night long.
My Prediction- Man United 2 – 0 FC Basel
Despite our notable injury worries at the moment, Basel shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to our progression in this tournament as a whole. Even thought the Swiss side are a hard-working and well organised outfit, the Red Devils should easily be able to overcome their challenge if they can avoid being complacent in this Group C Clash.