After a 4-1 win against Newcastle, a positive performance against Basel was needed who, despite hammering Sion 5-1 in their last match, had previously been defeated at home by CSKA Moscow, and clearly a much weaker team than the Red Devils. But with Jose Mourinho making seven changes to the team that played the Magpies on Saturday, the outcome was much different. Nevertheless, the Premier League goes on and with Liverpool playing Chelsea this weekend, Manchester United will be hoping for a large victory to push further in front of the the rest of the Big Six.
Brighton have started their Premier League campaign brilliantly and are sitting pretty at 9th, in front of much bigger teams (with all due respect) such as Southampton, Everton, West Ham and Leicester. They bought well in the transfer window and Matt Ryan has been outstanding for the Seagulls and Colombian winger Izquiero has been scoring consistently and Davy Propper has been influential in the midfield. They may choose to follow Newcastle’s tactics of holding a strong defensive line and breaking on the counter.
Manchester United’s injury list still includes Phil Jones and Eric Bailly but returning to the lineup could be Marcos Rojo who was one of the standout performers on Wednesday and looked like the missing piece of the defence to partner up with the recovering Eric Bailly for the remainder of the season.
Paul Pogba returned from injury against Newcastle and was in just as stunning form as he started the season with and looked lively and influential in the time he spent on the pitch against Basel. Jose Mourinho will want to regulate his game time to prevent any other injuries but it is clear that Pogba must start and play until United can comfortably say that they will win the game.
Only a win will do for Manchester United this Saturday because Manchester City, despite scoring a late winner against Feynoord, don’t look like they will stop scoring any time soon and certainly not at home to Huddersfield and so anything other than a win will send Manchester United fighting to hold on to second place with Spurs and Chelsea hot on their heels.
De Gea, Valencia, Lindelof, Rojo, Young, Matic, Pogba, Martial, Mata, Rashford, Lukaku
Predicted Score: 3-1