Preview: Manchester United v Benfica

Manchester United will confirm their dominance in Champions League Group A with a win over Benfica at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Champions League
31 October 2017
Kick-off 21:45 CET
Venue: Old Trafford

Referee: G. Mazeika
Assistants: V. Simkus, V. Kazlauskas
Fourth official: D. Suziedelis

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM                    MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Manchester United   7 4 2 1
Benfica                   7 1 2 4

Previous encounter:

Benfica 0-1 Manchester United 18/10/2017 (Champions League)
Manchester United goalscorer: M. Rashford (64′)

The lads were buzzing in training today! ? #MUFC

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Players to watch:

This match will see United midfielder Nemanja Matic face up against his former club, but if you’re looking for the danger man keep your eyes on then look no further than Romelu Lukaku. He has seven goals from 10 Premier League matches, and three from three in the Champions League.

Benfica’s biggest threat will most likely come from Jonas, the veteran Brazilian striker who has scored 12 goals in 10 league appearances already. At 33 he’s no youngster, but the No.10 has plenty of experience and is in great form.

Parabens equipa e bom fim de semana a todos!! #juntossomosmaisfortes #benfica

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Team form and quotes:

United have won all three of their group matches so far, including a 1-0 victory in Lisbon earlier in October. That win in Portugal was not just United’s third win of the campaign, but Benfica’s third defeat, leaving them bottom of the group with no points.
Over in the Premier League, United returned to winning ways with a 1-0 success against title rivals Tottenham on Saturday. The previous week they tasted their first defeat of the campaign against Huddersfield Town, dropping five points off the pace set by league leaders Manchester City, but they have won seven of 10 Premier League matches so far.

Meanwhile, in the Primeira Liga, Benfica are third in the standings but have won three of their last four matches and have also lost just once. When the two sides met in the Champions League in 2011 they drew both games, but Benfica have not beaten their English opponents since 2005, their sole win against United.

“Our aim tomorrow is to qualify,” United boss Jose Mourinho said. “10 points would be okay, but our main aim is to qualify first in the group.

“Benfica will give us a difficult match. They have their own ambition and pride and they will try to win, we just want to get to the last 16 by finishing first in the group.”

Team news:

In team news, Mourinho said that “in the best of the scenarios we have the same players as the last weekend”, which leaves Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Marcos Rojo on the sidelines.

For Benfica, defender Jardel is injured while captain Luisao and midfielder Andre Almeida are both suspended.