Manchester United were unable to extend their perfect start to the season after failing to beat Stoke City in a 2-2 draw. Both the goals they conceded were due to defensive errors by the center backs and Mourinho knows that these are kind of games which will ultimately cost them at the end of the season. The Matic-Herrera-Pogba midfield didn’t work as well as expected with Paul Pogba looking off-color in a more advanced role. Bringing the best out of Pogba seems to be Mourinho’s biggest challenge at the moment. Manchester United face Basel in their first Champions League game under Mourinho. The Portuguese had already indicated that Smalling and Lindelof will start in defence but we also expect him to make changes all over the pitch.
Matteo Darmian had a poor game against Stoke, so Daley Blind is expected to replace him. The left back position is a big area of concern for United and Mourinho must be hoping that Luke Shaw finally comes good and make that position his own. Sergio Romero who was excellent for Argentina last week will be given his chance in Europe just like last year where he was United’s goalkeeper in their title winning run in the Europa League.
Upfront, Martial and Mata will partner Romelu Lukaku in attack. Both Martial and Rashford have been in decent form this season but consistency over 90 minutes will help them nail a spot in the starting eleven. Marouane Fellaini might make his first start of the season ahead of Pogba and Matic. Mourinho will want his team to forget their performance against Stoke and start their Champions League campaign with a win. United have been handed an easy group so early qualification is realistic possibility which will allow them to rest players during a hectic schedule.