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Do they lack Champions League experience?

12 Septembre 2017

United also face the likes of Benfica and CSKA Moscow in their Champions League group, and will be hopeful of finishing in first place after the initial six games are over.

"I know it goes against us but I have to admit I love the English Christmas period of football", said the United boss."And then there is the fact that we have to play many times two days before the big matches in Europe and then other countries protect their clubs". The Belgian midfielder picked up a calf injury on worldwide duty last week, which made him miss the draw at Stoke on Saturday.

"Obviously, I came to Manchester United to play in the Champions League", the French superstar told United Review ahead of the contest. "I feel weaker without Marouane Fellaini in my squad".

"I need him", he said.

Romelu Lukaku should ready himself for Champions League bench duty at Manchester United once Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns, Paul Parker has warned.

Mourinho will give Fellaini the chance to prove he has recovered from a calf injury, while Bailly and Jones serve the final match of their European suspensions.

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Mourinho used second-choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero in the Europa League last season but has confirmed he will not follow suit in the Champions League, with David de Gea a confirmed starter.

Jones and Bailly have started all four Premier League games - in which Manchester United have conceded just twice, both against Stoke.

- None of Manchester City's 36 Champions League group games have ended goalless. In the second leg match, Basel stunned Manchester United by a 2-1 win at home ground. "For some players, it's the chance to play Champions League for the first time". It's more comparable to the style of the Portuguese league. While United have several players with Champions League experience, there are still players that lack the experience needed to be successful.

Jose Mourinho's side finished outside the Premier League top four last season but qualified automatically for the group stages of this competition by lifting the Europa League in May. Now we're just back in it and back to the best cup competition in the world. Zinedine Zidane's men go into the game after two draws in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium which have provoked fears that despite having signed promising young talent over the summer, the departure of Alvaro Morata and Mariano Diaz has left them short of a striker, reports Xinhua news agency.

Spartak, which won the Russian Premier League, are in the group stages for the first time since 2012-2013, while Slovenian team Maribor will be the big outsider in their third attempt to reach the knockout stages.