Manchester United welcome Portuguese champions Benfica to Old Trafford Tuesday night in a clash between the top and bottom of Group A.
Jose Mourinho couldn’t have asked for a more convincing start to United’s Champions League campaign this year with three wins from the three games that have come their way, scoring a total of eight goals and conceding just the one in the process. And if CSKA Moscow beat FC Basel in the groups other tie, United will progress to the next round of the competition with victory over Benfica on Tuesday night.
On the other hand Rui Vitória’s Benfica have had a torrid time in the competition so far, losing all three of their games, scoring only once, and conceding eight times. Benfica will have to go for the win if they stand any chance of securing European football for the remainder of the year, and will be looking to their league form for some inspiration at Old Trafford where they currently sit third.
The two teams met in the last round at the Estádio da Luz which will be remembered for Benfica’s 18 year old goal keeper Mile Svilar’s catastrophic error from a 30 yard Marcus Rashford free kick, which proved to be the only thing separating the two teams on the night in United’s 1-0 victory.
Jose Mourihno confirmed to MUTV today that his squad survived the weekend’s fiery contested victory against Tottenham and expects the same player’s available to him at the weekend to be fighting for a starting position Tuesday night.
However united midfielders Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba remain on the side lines, as well as full back Marcos Rojo and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
United and Benfica have faced each other a total of ten times over the years. With the Portuguese giants picking up only the one victory compared to United’s seven wins. Vitoria’s men will be shoving these statistics under the carpet come Tuesday night and will be looking gain their first win in the competition this year.
Nevertheless of the current group standings, Tuesday night has a lot at stake for both sides. With united looking to progress as Group winners, in turn possibly avoiding a harder game in the next round, and Benfica eyeing third place and a Europa League spot to maintain a place in Europe, Both teams will be looking for maximum points going into this one.
Score Prediction – Manchester United 1-0 Benfica