Young Boys v Manchester United preview: Antonio Valencia left at home, Luke Shaw returns
Last Updated: 19/09/18 6:38pm
Manchester United will be without captain Antonio Valencia as they kick off their Champions League campaign away at Young Boys on Wednesday (kick-off 8pm BST).
Manager Jose Mourinho confirmed the right-back will not be involved due to concerns over how he would react to the artificial surface at the Stade de Suisse.
"We decide not to bring Antonio Valencia because his knee is not a knee that needs an artificial pitch," Mourinho said at his pre-match press conference.
Left-back Luke Shaw is in contention to start, though, after recovering from the concussion he suffered playing for England against Spain.
"He [Shaw] has a chance to play, of course he has," Mourinho added. "Valencia is the only one we need to protect. Apart from that, we go with everything we can, and we have to try to win."
Manchester United have lost on their last two trips to Switzerland in the Champions League, both to FC Basel in December 2011 and November 2017.
Mourinho does not want to use the surface in Berne as a possible excuse for failing to win the game, and he paid homage to Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer's continued success on different surfaces.
"I don't want to use that, especially before the match, as a possible excuse for a not good performance," the Portuguese added.
"I can get as an example since we are in Switzerland, the home of one of the best ever tennis players - I'm pretty sure that the big man sometimes is not happy to play on such a surface but he has to play and he has to win.
"Everybody knows he has a favourite surface, but he has also to win on other surfaces that he is not in love with. So we have to do it."
Marcus Rashford has been added to United's Champions League squad and is expected to feature.
The England international is currently serving a three-game domestic suspension after being sent off in the 2-0 victory at Burnley earlier this month.
Summer signing Diogo Dalot has travelled with United's squad. The 19-year-old is yet to make a first-team appearance for the club since arriving from Porto in June.
Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones (hamstring) and Marcos Rojo have not travelled, along with Valencia.
Young Boys expect to be without midfielders Jordan Lotomba (knee) and Sandro Lauper (ankle).
Former Serbia winger Miralem Sulejmani could make his first start since suffering concussion on his return as a substitute in last week's cup victory over FC Schaffhausen.
- This will be the first ever meeting between BSC Young Boys and Manchester United in any competition.
- This will be Young Boys' first European Cup/Champions League campaign since 1986-87, and their first since the competition was rebranded in 1992.
- This is Manchester United's 22nd Champions League participation, the most for an English side and the joint-fourth most after Real Madrid, Barcelona and Porto (23).
- Young Boys will be hosting an English in major European competition for the first time since February 2015 when they faced Everton in the last 32 of the Europa League - the Swiss champions lost 1-4 that day.
- Young Boys have won just one of their previous six matches against a side from England (D1 L4), although that victory did come at home, a 3-2 win over Tottenham in the first leg of the 2010/11 Champions League qualifying encounter.
- Manchester United have only ever faced one side from Switzerland in European competition - FC Basel. They have won two, drawn two and lost two of their previous six encounters.
It's down to Manchester United. There has always been a scalp or two in Switzerland in the past, Basel were a team who did it to them, and these are awkward games.
Romelu Lukaku is not everybody's favourite - he's not my favourite - but he gets goals. If you give him service, he gets goals.
What I will say to Man Utd is 'it is yours to lose'. It is a game you should turn up and win even if you do not play that well. United should be way too strong. In reality, I see this being an unimpressive three points for Jose Mourinho's men.
Charlie predicts: 1-2, Romelu Lukaku to score twice (8/1 with Sky Bet)