Preview: Benfica v Manchester United

Benfica - Manchester United

Jose Mourinho, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic will all be hoping to get one over their former club when Manchester United take on Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Champions League

19 October 2017

Round 3

Kick-off 02:45 HKT

Venue: Estadio da Luz

Referee: F. Zwayer

Assistants: T. Schiffner, M. Achmuller

Fourth official: R. Foltyn

Head-to-head summary:


Benfica 6 1 2 3
Manchester United 6 3 2 1

Previous encounter:

Manchester United 2-2 Benfica 22/11/16 (Champions League)

Man United goalscorer: D. Berbatov (30′), D. Fletcher (59′)

Benfica goalscorer: P. Jones (OG 3′), P. Aimar (61′)

Players to watch:

Brazilian striker Jonas has been the man in form for Benfica this season with his nine goals in just eight games while Gabriel Barbosa will also be a threat after getting off the mark for his new side in their 1-0 defeat of Olhanense in the Portuguese cup last weekend.

Romelu Lukaku has smashed in an impressive seven goals in eight games for Manchester United in all competitions – although he was unable to find the net in a defensive showing against Liverpool in the Premier League last time out. A more attacking United approach should bode well for the Belgian attacker against their Portuguese opponents.

Team form and manager quotes:

Rui Vitoria’s side have endured some mixed form in all competitions of late as their 2-1 Champions League loss to CSKA Moskva was followed up by a win, loss and a draw in the league, a draw in the Taca de Portugal before narrowly overcoming lower league side Olhanense in the domestic cup competition last time out.

They come into this game third in the Primeira Liga, but bottom of Group A after two losses – 5-0 to Basel as well as the 2-1 loss to CSKA.

Manchester United, in second place on the Premier League standings, come into this tie unbeaten in 11 games, although they were held to a 0-0 draw with Liverpool last time out.

Jose Mourinho’s side eased past Basel 3-0 and CSKA 4-1 to lead Group A with six points.

Ahead of this clash, Mourinho, whose first job as a manager was at Benfica, after a couple of assistant roles, said: “I think qualification is out of the question so I believe Benfica need to make a point without question.

“The strategy that Rui [Vitoria] will choose, offence or defence, I don’t know but I have studied Benfica the best I could.

“I’ve been getting to know them to make a thorough analysis of their play. Rui has done many different things in the Champions League.”

He added: “Our goal is to qualify. Currently, our sole objective is to qualify within that context.

“I think that one point away against the strongest of the three teams in the group is a positive result, but the match is also possible to be analysed outside that context and to be analysed in the context of a match that we want to try and win.”

Team news:

Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic remain sidelined for United alongside Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly as Marcos Rojo works his way back to full fitness.

Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick are all doubts, while Benfica right-back Andrea Almeida sits out through suspension.