Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho will hand starts to Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof in Wednesday's (20 September) League Cup clash against Burton Albion with Sergio Romero expected to start in goal.

Eric Bailly and Phil Jones have emerged as Mourinho's first-choice partnership at the heart of defence this season with the pair starting in each of United's five Premier League matches of the 2017-18 season.

Smalling, now in his eighth season at Old Trafford, and Lindelof, a £30m summer signing from Benfica, had the chance to forge their own partnership in last Tuesday's Champions League opener against FC Basel. Bailly and Jones returned to the first-team on Sunday for the Premier League victory over Everton but Mourinho's plan has always been to recall his other two options for the visit of the Championship side tonight.

Speaking last week, Mourinho said: "[Smalling and Lindelof] train really hard. They train together in the same team because I knew that they had to play this match [against Basel] together.

If you want to anticipate the next weekend [against Everton], I probably play Bailly and Jones because today they didn't play, because they are fresh, because it makes sense for them to play again, but then two days after we have a League Cup match so Victor and Smalling again.

"We need this and in the Premier League and Champions League I have to choose the players in relation to the quality."

Mourinho has since confirmed Bailly is among the players who will be given the night off tonight with Jones expected to feature on the bench. The United boss has also omitted first-teamers David de Gea, Antonio Valencia and Nemanja Matic for tonight's squad with Sergio Romero expected to make his first start of the season in goal.

19-year-old Axel Tuanzebe meanwhile misses out due to a back problem.

Victor Lindelof
Lindelof is being eased into the United team following his summer arrival. Getty