Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho: 'I feel weaker without Marouane Fellaini'

Manchester United vs Stoke City preview players to watch out for

Jose Mourinho's side have a weakness at the back that Basel can exploit, according to the Stoke City attacker.

"Being back in the Champions League is going back to the natural habitat", Mourinho told his pre-match press conference ahead of their group stage fixture.

Marouane Fellaini remains a doubt for the match as he has yet to recover from a calf problem picked up while on worldwide duty with Belgium.

Mourinho could be without Marouane Fellaini for Basel's visit after the midfielder missed the 2-2 draw with Stoke with a calf injury.

"I think motivation is very important and of course motivation is very high", United boss Mourinho said.

"That was quite an empty period in this club with no evolution in areas that are important", added the man who has taken United back to the top of the Premier League early in the new season.

"And that's why I prefer a Europa League victory than a third or fourth spot in the championship".

Following his side's 2-2 draw away at Stoke, Mourinho said he's been impressed by Jones this season, and that he will now receive a well-earned rest following a string of consecutive club and worldwide games. "I feel weaker without Fellaini in my squad".

"I feel weaker without Fellaini in my squad, it doesn't matter if he is in team or the bench so if his condition is improved I will select him but I can not say yet".

"Their defenders have problems ff you play fast and bravely against them".

Victor Lindelof will receive the first competitive start of his Manchester United career on Tuesday night in the Uefa Champions League group opener after manager Jose Mourinho revealed he will be paired alongside Chris Smalling against Basel.

David De Gea will start in goal instead of Sergio Romero.

Ander Herrera has opened contract talks with Manchester United according to the Express, and despite seeing huge interest from other clubs - notably Barcelona - and also losing his place in the Manchester United starting line up this season, wants to stay at the club and fight for his place.

Now, Basel's best offseason signing is a player who already failed to meet the Premier League's standards.

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