Basel have become regulars in the competition in recent years―they have won the Swiss Super League eight times in a row―and are usually competitive against the top clubs. However, they're not expected to challenge United for the top spot and will have their eyes mostly on beating Benfica and CSKA Moscow to second place in the group.
Here's everything you need to know about Tuesday's clash.
Date: Tuesday, September 12
Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
TV Info: BT Sport 2 (UK), Fox Sports 1 (U.S.)
Basel have not started the Super League season in typical fashion. They lost their opening game, against Young Boys, failed to beat Lugano and Sion in back-to-back outings thereafter and, most recently, lost at home to bottom club Lausanne.
The Swiss giants have built a solid squad that is capable of doing well in Europe but lacks top-end talent. Players such as Ricky van Wolfswinkel should ring a bell with Premier League fans, and the team has a solid academy that regularly produces good prospects.
Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News also noted defender Victor Lindelof didn't make the squad for the trip to the bet365 Stadium and that Tuesday's outing could be hugely important for the summer signing from Benfica:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
Lindelof has been omitted from three squads now. No surprise he's been cut today, given the opponents. Basel a huge game for him. #mufc2017-9-9 15:36:06
United have been solid early in the season, but European competition always presents a challenge. Benfica, CSKA and Basel all have plenty of experience at this level and will gladly give the Red Devils the role of favourite in all of their matches.
The Premier League giants know how to break down defences that sit deep, but Basel usually don't change their game plan too much in Europe. English fans should remember RotBlau's approach against Liverpool in the 2014-15 season―they were never impressed by their opponents and gladly took the fight right to them.
Basel will likely be positive in their approach, and United should follow suit. The home team has the raw talent to overpower Tuesday's opponents and shouldn't be afraid to show it.
Prediction: United 2-0 FC Basel