MANCHESTER — Eric Bailly has pressed house the significance of qualifying for the Champions League spherical of 16 as shortly as doable forward of Manchester United’s conflict with Benfica.
Jose Mourinho’s aspect have an ideal document in Group A after victories over Basel, CSKA Moscow and Benfica.
They’ll assure qualification for the knockouts rounds in the event that they defeat Benfica at Outdated Trafford on Tuesday and CSKA don’t beat Basel in Switzerland.
And Bailly, who’s match once more after a groin downside, desires United to get out of the group as early as they’ll.
He instructed a information convention on Monday: “It is one thing crucial — first that we win. It is an essential sport, that is our fourth within the Champions League and it is at house, and since we began we have not misplaced a single sport at house and that is essential to your confidence.
“I hope the whole lot goes properly and we win and qualify. This could be crucial for us.”
Mourinho will probably be with out injured duo Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini towards Benfica, whereas Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones might get the evening off with a visit to Chelsea to return within the Premier League on Sunday.
Securing qualification this week would additionally assist Mourinho additional down the road.
United journey to Basel on Nov. 22 forward of Brighton’s journey to Outdated Trafford three days later. They then host CSKA on Dec. 5 earlier than the primary derby of the season towards Manchester Metropolis at Outdated Trafford on Dec. 10.
United, Metropolis, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham have all began properly of their Champions League campaigns, and Bailly believes it’s a signal of the Premier League’s resurgence within the competitors after failing to supply a winner since Chelsea’s triumph in 2012.
He stated: “We all know it is among the best leagues and there are good groups, and so they’re getting good outcomes. It is one thing essential for the league, and the Premier League has all the time been sturdy.
“We have now to think about ourselves and keep it up this run. Proper now we’re doing very properly, successful video games. Let’s hope this carries on.”
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Comply with him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.