Manchester United vs Istanbul Basaksehir Preview

Manchester United vs Istanbul Basaksehir

Manchester United returned to the Champions League on Tuesday night looking to get back to winning ways in the competition as we take on Istanbul Basaksehir. We are currently still top of Group H level with RB Leipzig despite our 2-1 defeat to opponents in the reverse fixture earlier this month.

We had got into a good position to qualify for the knockout stages having secured back-to-back wins against PSG and Leipzig in the first two games. However, the disappointing performance in Turkey with our defending costing us dearly in our loss. Ole will not be wanting a repeat of the same.

It has left the group wide open but a win would give us a major advantage to advance towards the last 16 as second-place RB Leipzig and PSG will drop points when they faced each other.

We come into this game after our 1-0 win on Saturday night against West Brom in the Premier League, thanks to Bruno Fernandes’s penalty. The victory at Old Trafford was our first league win on home soil this season. 

Whilst it wasn’t the most convincing performance from United, we got the all important three points to move up the league table. Ole said after the West Brom game, “Three points, home win, no more talk about that but we need to keep consistent performances, better performances than this. We know that. If we want to move up the table, we have to play better.

We had reached the quarter-finals of 2018/19 Champions League and therefore we will want to go far in the competition just as we did in last season’s Europa League as we reached the semi-finals.

Opposition Preview

Istanbul Basaksehir secured their first win in the Champions League against us after our inept defending gifted them two goals. Though you have to give credit to the Turkish side who put in a good performance.

They are bottom of Group H but are level on the same points as third place PSG. The Turkish side secured their first league title last season and competing in Europe’s elite competition for the first time. Istanbul Basaksehir only previous experience of playing in England against Burnley in a Europa League qualifier in the 2018/19 season, which they lost 1-0.

They come into this game having suffered a 3-2 league defeat Besiktas on Saturday and are currently lying sixth in the Super Lig table. They will want to take their performance against us earlier in the month and repeat this feat again.

Manchester United vs Istanbul Basaksehir Match Details

Teams: Manchester United vs Istanbul Basaksehir

Date: November 24th, 2020 (Tuesday)

KO Time: 20:00 BST

Competition: UEFA Champions League

Stadium: Old Trafford

Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan

Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Okan Buruk

Manchester United Team News

United will still be without Luke Shaw who remains on the sidelines due to injuring his hamstring against Everton earlier this month. Jesse Lingard and Eric Bailly are doubts even though they have returned to training following their recovery from their respective injuries.

We may welcome Paul Pogba back who did not feature against West Brom after picking up a knock during the international break. Mason Greenwood might feature as Ole slowly works him back into the first team.

Axel Tuanzebe could come into the centre of the defence to replace Victor Lindelof who has had a back problem recently though he did play the 90 minutes against West Brom. It is expected that David De Gea will remain between the sticks despite Dean Henderson been giving the nod in the reverse fixture earlier this month.

Pre-Match Press Conference

The pre-match press conference saw manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær asked what had been learned from game one and how important is the players’ attitude considering the defeat last time against Istanbul Basaksehir.

He said, “Well, you know that when you go away to the Turkish champions, you know that’s going to be a difficult game anyway. We have experienced that at Man United a few times before. Nothing unexpected there. The level of concentration needs to be better. We know that the two goals that we conceded were on bad breaks and counter-attacks. In one or two other moments we caused our own problems with our organisation when we had the ball. We need to be… not patient in our approach, more disciplined in our positioning because any little lack of concentration and they’re up and running. The first goal was obviously the worst goal to concede. The second goal as well was a counter-attack. Then we’ve looked at the game and looked at the ways we should break them down.

Ole was asked how important would the win be on Tuesday, “We’re going to go into this game trying to win it and then try to win it well with a good performance because we’ve got games coming up thick and fast. Getting to 10 points as quickly as we can was always the main point, and defeat was a big blow last time.

A member of the media asked Ole that United tend to struggle against the smaller teams that defend with a low block and whether he is worried by that. He said, “We’re trying to develop the squad and the team to become good at all different phases of the game. If you get the first goal it’s a different type of game. It’s always decided on different moments of games. I feel we’re moving in the right direction.

Istanbul Basaksehir Team News

For our opponents, Junior Caicara and Enzo Crivelli are still on the sidelines through injury. Other than that they have a near full strength squad to choose from. We will welcome back our former player Rafael who had spent seven years with us between 2008 and 2015.

Form Guide

Manchester United Champions League form: WLLWWL

Manchester United form (all competitions): DWLLWW

Istanbul Basaksehir Champions League form: DLLLLW

Istanbul Basaksehir form (all competitions): LWWWLL

Interesting Facts

  • Former player Rafael made 170 appearances for United between 2008 and 2015, playing alongside his twin Fábio until 2014. (
  • Edinson Cavani’s next goal in the Champions League will be his 50th. (
  • Paul Pogba’s next appearance in the UEFA Champions League will be 50th in the competition. (
  • Manchester United have not lost a European group stage game at home since losing 0-1 to Juventus in 2018, winning their last five in a row.

Predicted Lineup

De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Tuanzebe, Telles, Pogba, McTominay, Van De Beek, Fernandes, Rashford, and Martial.


United will want to return to winning ways in the Champions League and seek revenge on our opponents for the defeat earlier this month. If we were to win, it would mean we have secured back to back wins at Old Trafford this season.

The opposition is more than capable of creating problems for us and we have to be wary of their threat. Our defence needs to stand up to the test they pose us.  The performance will also need to improve after the West Brom game if we are to beat the Turkish side.

With Bruno Fernandes in good form, the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony should be able to profit from this and secure victory for United against Istanbul Basaksehir.

Predicted Score

Manchester United 2-0 Istanbul Basaksehir

Author: Andrew Wall

My name is Andrew and I have been a Manchester United fan my whole life. I have a season ticket in the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand attending all our home games. My favourite United player of all time is Eric Cantona. I want to share through this blog my thoughts and opinions on Manchester United. You can find me on Twitter: @andrew_wall and Instagram: andrewcwall

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