Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Jose Mourinho compares Victor Lindelof's situation to Ricardo Carvalho

Jose Mourinho compares Victor Lindelof's situation to Ricardo Carvalho

Manchester United will field new-look defence when they face Basle in the Champions League on Tuesday night, with Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof set to be paired at the heart of the back four.

Phil Jones has impressed for club and country in recent weeks, while Eric Bailly continues to show the promise that led United to sign him from Villarreal last summer.

Bailly and Jones will miss the clash through suspension.

'Even if Jones and Bailly were not suspended, probably I would still play Lindelof and Smalling tomorrow because for me they are the same level. 'I think they are the same level, they are just different players. It is just a question of option.

In midfield, Nemanja Matic is set to make his first European appearance in a United shirt, following his summer move from Chelsea, anchoring a midfield pair of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba.

Berg, United's most expensive defender when he arrived for £5m in 1997, also endured a hard start in the England with Blackburn, and the former Norway global, who has had spells as manager of Blackburn and Legia Warsaw, insists Lindelof just needs time to settle.

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Mourinho is confident the Swedish global will also become a key player for him once he adapts to the demands of English football and he warned United's other defenders they will have to fight hard to keep him out of the side.

The 54-year-old told reporters: "I think it is easier for him to play in the Champions League".

"It is hard because in the Premier League you don't get many opportunities and you have to be 100 percent". [At Chelsea] we had one of the best central defenders in the Premier League's last decade, Ricardo Carvalho, and when he arrived from Portugal he was in trouble a little bit to adapt.

He said: "Victor is an intelligent kid, he is very calm and of course he wants to play". He knows that, step by step, he is going to be there. Kenny Dalglish was the manager and Ray Harford was his assistant but they believed in me and gave me more chances after that when I had adapted a little bit more.

"He is a very good player with a very good potential, and honestly I think there are reasons for the other boys, Eric and Jones, for them to be anxious because Victor is a very good player". He is a very good player with very good potential.

"At this moment, David is really well and really confident and I go with David tomorrow again", Mourinho said.

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