(Reuters) - Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof will start at the heart of Manchester United’s defence when they host FC Basel on their Champions League return on Tuesday, manager Jose Mourinho has said.
Defenders Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, who have started all four of United’s Premier League games this season, are serving UEFA bans heading into the European campaign.
The duo helped United keep three consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League before their perfect start to the season ended with a 2-2 draw at Stoke City on Saturday.
“He’s (Jones) playing well for us,” Mourinho told reporters.
“He’s probably tired with two consecutive matches with the national team so it’s good that on Tuesday he gets his rest and it’s an opportunity for Smalling and Lindelof to play the Champions League match.”
Smalling and Lindelof, United’s close season signing from Benfica, will pair up for the first time since United’s 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup last month.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty