Next up for Manchester United is an UEFA Champions League clash away to S.L Benfica. On Wednesday night (UK time), United will be looking to maintain their 100% record in the group stages this season. We take a look at past meetings between the two sides, early team news, and much more.
Manchester United have won both of their games in the Champions League this season, comfortably beating both Basel, and CSKA Moscow. United are unbeaten in their last eleven games in all competitions, their last defeat coming against Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.
Contrast that to Benfica, who have lost both of their games in the competition and sit bottom of Group A. Benfica’ last Champions League game was a humiliating 5-0 defeat away to FC Basel. The Eagles are also off the pace in the Primeira Liga. They are currently in third place and five points off top, after only eight games.
Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are definitely ruled out of the fixture. Whereas, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw are both fit enough to travel with the squad to Portugal. Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Eric Bailly are all major doubts for the game.
Benfica will definitely be without defender André Almeida, who will be serving the first of a two game ban following his red card against Basel.
Manchester United have prevailed in six of the clubs’ nine encounters, including the 1967/68 European Champions Cup final. The last meeting between the two clubs, back in 2011, ended in a draw, with a Phil Jones own goal and a finish from Pablo Aimar giving Benfica a point.
United are unbeaten in their last five trips to Portugal, with their last defeat coming against Benfica in 2005. Altogether, the Red Devil’s have won six out of twelve visits to Portugal, losing four.
Benfica don’t have the best record when it comes to playing English opposition. They’ve only won eleven in thirty four games, losing seventeen.
The referee for this Champions League fixture will be Felix Zwayer. The German has only officiated one other United match, the 1-1 draw in Rostov last season.
Even though Benfica suffered their biggest ever European loss last time out at Basel, I think it will be a tight affair. However, United have looked good in the competition and I fully expect them to get the three points. I believe we’ll snatch a goal, then sit back and hold onto the lead in true Mourinho style.
S.L Benfica 0-1 Manchester United