Giggs: Manchester United need Bale to fight for Champions League

Herrera hopes to retain his starting place when United line up on Tuesday for their first Champions League match since December 2015.

United are entering a hectic part of the season with matches in the Premier League, Champions League and Carabao Cup coming thick and fast, which will require Mourinho to make full use of his squad in these competitions.

Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling had been twiddling their thumbs while centre-backs Eric Bailly and Phil Jones made a confident start to the season, but the chinks in that particular armour were ruthlessly exposed by...

"It is just normal", Mourinho added.

The United boss said it was impossible for English teams to do likewise because usually competition in the domestic game remained fierce until the end of the season. Ed Woodward is also well known for his desire to sign Galactico-type players and did so in Pogba last season.

"We have a group now and people say it is an easy one for us in the Champions League".

United manager Jose Mourinho made it clear that he wanted to sign the Wales global, but a transfer never came to fruition.

"In the Champions League there are four or five teams with an incredible level of quality, of experience, of know-how and that's what makes the difference", he said. "I trust them. I am not anxious at all that Bailly and Jones are out". Benfica and CSKA Moscow are the other teams in Group A of the UCL 2017-18 season. It's more comparable to the style of the Portuguese league.

Manchester United will open Champions League action against FC Basel at Old Trafford. "There is a reason for Eric and Jones to be anxious because Victor is very good". "We need to play our best football to win the games".

But United may be without Marouane Fellaini, who excelled in May's Europa League final win over Ajax and who has a calf problem.

Ex-Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel's the player to watch for the visitors: he's scored seven times in seven league starts this season, and will be keen to prove a point at Old Trafford after his disappointing spell for the Canaries (1 goal in 25 Premier League appearances in 2013-14).

"We have to qualify for the round of 16 and then enjoy the special nature of the knockouts". I expect Mourinho to play a strong side and as a result that could mean a hard outing for FC Basel.

Tottenham will aim to tackle their supposed Wembley curse as the Champions League continues on Wednesday, with Real Madrid seeking to win the tournament for the third year in a row.

  • Angelo Rivera