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Preview: Manchester United to keep 100% record in the UEFA Champions League against Istanbul Basaksehir?

Istanbul Basaksehir -v- Manchester United

UEFA Champions League

Fatih Terim Stadium, Istanbul

Wednesday 4 November 2020, KO 17:55 GMT

Referee: Davide Massa Assistants: Filippo Meli, Stefano Alassio

Fourth Official: Gianpaolo Calvarese

VAR: Marco Di Bello Assistant VAR: Maurizio Mariani

Manchester United return to action in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening against Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey. United have been a different team in the European competition than they have in the Premier League, beating Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig in the competition, topping the group after two matches. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have not been as good in the league, having just seven points after six matches have been played. There is a lot of overreaction with sections of supporters on social media calling for the manager to be sacked once again – it never seems to take long to upset these supporters.

Patience is a virtue that many don’t seem to know about with supporters expecting United to click their fingers and run riot in every competition. In seven years, the same thing continues to happen with the club which highlights the same things all the time which seems to be appropriated to the manager, despite the problems being similar to those faced by David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho. However, some let the facts slip away from the reality as they look for the next casualty that they will back before becoming the manager, then turn against as soon as they are given the job. The word support does not seem to mean the same thing anymore.

United will be looking to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday which puts them in dire form at home in the league this season, not winning any of their last six home matches which started last season. Of course, it is a problem if the team cannot win home matches and to many supporters seem to be making too many excuses. When United ran riot over Leipzig last week, that victory was nothing to do with Solskjaer, according to some on Twitter – it was the players that did that. However, the defeat to Arsenal was all down to Solskjaer, nothing to do with the players. Agendas never seem to do anyone any good.

Manchester United: LWDWWL

Arsenal 1-0 L, RB Leipzig 5-0 W, Chelsea 0-0 D, Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 W, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 6-1 L

Istanbul Basaksehir: WLWLWW

Konyaspor 2-1 W, Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 L, Antalyaspor 5-1 W, RB Leipzig 2-0 L, Trabzonspor 2-0 W, Kasımpaşa 5-0 W

Top Scorers: United have all the attributes to score the goals but the ingredients have been a little off, especially in the Premier League. Marcus Rashford will be seeking to add more goals to his tally in Turkey.

Manchester United Goals: 7 – Marcus Rashford, 4 – Bruno Fernandes, 2 – Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood, 1 – Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Harry Maguire, Own Goal, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay

United’s season seems different when you compare their form in the cup competitions; Carabao Cup and the Champions League to their form in the Premier League. United are undefeated in four cup matches; beating Luton Town and Brighton and Hove Albion (both 3-0 scorelines) also beating Paris Saint-Germain (2-1) and RB Leipzig (5-0). United have just seven points in the league this season (after six matches), which is pretty poor for United. Three defeats, one draw and two wins is an unfortunate start to the season. United will need to ensure their form in the cup competitions continue otherwise the worst could come and a good position could be lost.

Istanbul Basaksehir Goals: 3 – Edin Visca, Irfan Kahveci, 2 – Enzo Crivelli, 1 – Danijel Aleksic, Demba Ba, Fredrik Gulbrandsen, Guiliano de Paula, Mehmet Topal, Own Goal

The Turkish side did not start too well in the Super Lig this season, losing their first three matches, drawing their fourth and winning their next three. In the Champions League, that have lost both matches to RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain which means they will be seeking their first group stage victory this season, getting three points on the board. United could put themselves in a great position in the so-called group of death by getting another three points on the board, meaning they will have a great change of getting out of the group. The Turkish side will need to start finding the victories to have a chance of making it out of the group.

Team News: Alex Telles could be fit to face Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League after returning to training on Monday; three other players missing for United.

United will definitely be without three players for the visit to Turkey with Phil Jones (knee), not that he was in the squad this season anyway, Eric Bailly (muscular) and Jesse Lingard (other) all out of action. Alex Telles has previously tested positive for coronavirus, despite showing no symptoms, returning to the Aon training complex on Monday for a training session, so he could be involved in Turkey, a country he used to play in, albeit for Galatasaray. Anthony Martial is eligible to play again for the club in the Champions League and has served his three-match ban in the Premier League, so will be able to face Everton on Saturday afternoon.

Istanbul Basaksehir will have four players out through injury; Júnior Caiçara (Achilles), Nacer Chadli (unknown), Mahmut Tekdemir (unknown) and Enzo Crivelli (unknown). There are also eight members of the squad that were not registered to play in the Champions League this season, which could either help or hinder the club ahead of their home clash with United on Wednesday. The Turkish side will be looking to get the better of United in this match and with United licking their wounds from their defeat to Arsenal, they will fancy their chances. Rafael da Silva will be savouring facing his old club, more so at Old Trafford, but it won’t be the same empty.

Predicted Starting XI: Rashford and Martial to lead the line in Istanbul? Van de Beek to start with Fred and McTominay in midfield? Telles and Wan-Bissaka in the wing-back roles? Three at the back?

Solskjaer will need to put his tactics to good use against Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday evening in the Champions League, keeping United’s 100% start in the competition this season and to continue their good start in what was called the group of death. The defeat to Arsenal was costly for United, who now need to find some form in the Premier League also, to get their season back on track. Alex Telles could be back in action after returning to training on Monday, which hopefully will see him start as United could do with his ability on the ball, especially in attack. Donny van de Beek should also start as he seems to be hungry to succeed at the club.

Match Prediction: 16 matches played against Turkish teams, eight matches won, five lost and three drawn. In Istanbul, United have played seven times, winning twice, drawing twice and losing three times.

United and Istanbul Basaksehir have not played each other before in the 30-year history of the Turkish club. However, they club has played teams from England with Burnley being the only English club they have met, drawing 0-0 in Istanbul and losing 1-0 at Turf Moor which saw the Lancashire club reach the play-off round of the UEFA Europe League in the 2018/19 season, failing to qualify for the group stages of the competition after losing to Olympiakos. United have met Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş, and Bursaspor from Turkey, playing 16 matches in the Europa League and Champions League, winning eight, drawing three and losing five.

United have met Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe six times each and Beşiktaş and Bursaspor two times each. The last Turkish club to face United was Fenerbahçe in the Europa League in the 2016/17 season where they met in the group stages of the competition, at the time welcoming Robin van Persie back to Old Trafford a year after his departure from the club. United won 4-1 at Old Trafford, losing 2-1 in Istanbul. United have played a total of seven times in Istanbul, winning twice, drawing twice and losing three times. IBFK have played twice in the Champions League so far this season, losing twice, so it could well be a chance for United to return to winning ways.

Istanbul Basaksehir 0-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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