Confirmed XI: Henderson makes Champions League debut; Van de Beek and Fernandes also start in Turkey


Manchester United return to action in the UEFA Champions League this 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:


Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Maguire, Shaw;

Matic, Van de Beek;

Mata, Fernandes, Rashford;



De Gea; Lindelof, Fosu-Mensah, Williams, Mengi; Pogba, Fred, James, McTominay; Cavani, Greenwood, Ighalo

Istanbul Basaksehir:


Rafael, Škrtel, Epureanu, Bolingoli;

Aleksić, Özcan, Kahveci;

Višća, Ba, Türüc


Babacan, Kıvanç, Topal, Giuliano, Gulbrandsen, Ponck, Kaplan, Karakuş

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.

Written by John Walker

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