Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho left Ander Herrera out of his squad for Tuesday's (12 September) Champions League opener against FC Basel for tactical reasons.

Herrera was a fixture in midfield during Mourinho's first season in charge at Old Trafford, but has started just one game this season, Saturday's 2-2 draw with Stoke City, following Nemanja Maric's arrival at the club.

The United manager favoured a midfield pairing of Matic and Paul Pogba in the club's opening three games of the 2017-18 season and named both Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick on the bench ahead of the Spain international ahead for the routine 3-0 victory over the Swiss champions.

Of the former Athletic Bilbao midfielder, Mourinho said: "No reasons to be out. We are playing only with two midfielders, with Matric and Pogba, which are playing really well and without reason to change.

"The only match that that we decided to play with three [midfielders against Stoke] he played. Today we went back to two again and I had on the bench Carrick and Fellaini, which were also important players last season. We have a group of players and the players must be ready to play and not to play."

Herrera could come back into the starting XI on Sunday, when United will be without Paul Pogba for the visit of Everton. The France international was forced off in the first-half with a hamstring injury that will see him ruled out for a minimum of a "few weeks", according to his manager.

That injury could force Pogba out until the next international break at the start of October, opening the door for Herrera to have a greater role to play in United's five games that take place before the final round of World Cup qualifiers.

After the visit of Ronald Koeman's side, United host Championship outfit Burton Albion in League Cup third round clash before away trips to Southampton in the Premier League and CKSA Moscow in the Champions League. United's last match before the final international break of the year is at home to Crystal Palace.

Ander Herrera
Herrera's only start this season came as part of a midfield three with Matic and Pogba. Reuters