Thursday 20 June 2019

Roy Keane makes a bold prediction for Manchester United despite their Champions League defeat

Jose Mourinho barks out the orders against Basel and (inset) Roy Keane
Jose Mourinho barks out the orders against Basel and (inset) Roy Keane
Roy Keane predicts Manchester United are ready to challenge for Champions League glory this season
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Roy Keane believes a full-strength Manchester United team are ready compete with the best sides in the Champions League, despite their surprise 1-0 defeat against Basel on Wednesday night.

A last gasp goal by the home side from Michael Lang condemned United to a defeat in Switzerland, on a night when boss Jose Mourinho left some of his first choice starters out of his line-up.

United were all but assured of a place in the last-16 of the Champions League prior to kick-off after four straight wins to start Group A, with Mourinho’s side assured of progression in the competition so long as they don’t lose their final group game against CSKA Moscow by six goals at Old Trafford next month.

That comfortable position inspired the normally unforgiving Keane to spare United a grilling, as he offered up this verdict to ITV Sport.

“The big plus for United was that their form has been that good in the Champions League that they gave themselves room to slip up,” declared Keane.

“It was a weakened team. There were five or six players in that team will not be in United’s strongest team. Mourinho will be looking at the bigger picture; forget about tonight and move on. They will be competing to win this title, without a doubt.

“When lads come back to full fitness, Manchester United will compete with all the top teams, for sure.”

Keane went on to suggest United dropped into a comfort zone as they went into a game knowing a draw would be enough to secure progress to the next phase, as the Irishman offered up excuses for his former club.

“The players are intelligent enough to know that the draw (in Basel) would have one them and they started dropping deeper,” he added.

“Basel grew in confidence and deserved it on the second half performance, but United were guilty a lot of chances. And it was a game they let slip, but they still have more than enough in their locker to win the last home game.”

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