Manchester United made a positive return to the Champions League on Tuesday night. The Red Devils saw off the challenge of a poor FC Basel side to win 3-0 but the hard work really begins now as they have to cope with the strains of their continental campaign alongside their Premier League commitments. To help his team cope, Jose Mourinho made several changes to the line-up for the Basel match compared to the team which drew 1-1 with Stoke last weekend. Mourinho hopes that decision will help his team in Sunday afternoon’s match against Everton at Old Trafford.
When the Premier League season began some Tottenham fans were worried about the lack of transfer activity at the club. They should have known to trust Daniel Levy. The Tottenham chairman oversaw a number of late deals for top quality players and one of those recruits could make his full debut for his new club against his old one. Fernando Llorente has swapped south Wales for North London and could well be called upon by Mauricio Pochettino as Swansea travel to Wembley Stadium for Saturday’s late Premier League game.
Saturday was an historic day for Brighton and Hove Albion. After losing three straight league games, the Seagulls bounced back to beat West Brom 3-1 and in so doing claimed their first ever win in the Premier League. Next up for Brighton is a south coast derby against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. The Cherries know all there is to know about making the step up from the Championship to the Premier League and surviving. However, Eddie Howe appears lost as to why his team have had such a poor start to their third season in the top flight. Bournemouth have lost all four of their league matches so far and will be desperate to pick up their first three points when Brighton come to visit on Friday night.
However, Mané will be available for selection for Liverpool’s first Champions League group stage match of the season when Sevilla visit Anfield. Mané and the rest of his teammates will have to put Saturday’s defeat firmly behind them as this Sevilla side have the quality to capitalise should Liverpool not hit the levels we all know they are capable of reaching.
Possession is one of the most discussed statistics in football. It is often used as a measure of one team’s dominance over another in a match but possession is far from a solid indicator of which team goes on to win the game. Just look at Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund. Spurs had less possession than Everton during their match on Saturday but ended as the very comfortable 3-0 winners. On the flip side, Dortmund had over 80% of the ball in their weekend Bundesliga game but had to settle for a 0-0 draw against Freiburg. Dortmund will likely see most of the ball when they take on Tottenham at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night but will that be enough for them to get off to a winning start in the Champions League?