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Benfica vs Manchester United: All You Need To Know About The Champions League match

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UEFA Champions League: Benfica vs Manchester United

Manchester United will be hoping to put one foot in the Champions League knockout stage by beating Benfica on Wednesday night.

The Red Devils have won both of their games so far and travel to Lisbon looking to keep their 100 per cent record intact.

Doing so would put them at least five points clear of the team in third place in Group A by the end of the matchday and halfway point of the group stage.

Benfica vs Manchester United TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM

Date:Wednesday, October 18
Time: 19:45 BST / 14:45 ET

UK:
Channel: BT Sport Showcase / BT Sport 2
Stream:BT Sport app

USA:
Channel: Fox Deportes
Stream: Fox Sports Go / Facebook Live.

Benfica vs Manchester United TEAM NEWS:

Benfica will be missing right-back Andre Almeida, who was sent off during the 5-0 defeat against Basel, as well as Jardel and Rafa Silva.

Barcelona loanee Douglas is likely to fill up the void in the absence of Almeida.

Benfica vs Manchester United Potential starting XI:

Benfica: Svilar; Douglas, Luisao, Dias, Grimaldo; Zivkovic, Pizzi, Fejsa, Cervi; Jonas, Jimenez.

Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo have travelled to Portugal but would be surprise starters given their lack of match fitness after serious injuries.

Jose Mourinho will continue to struggle in midfield due to the absence of the likes of Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini, while Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are out too.

Manchester United Potential starting XI: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Blind; Herrera, Matic; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford; Lukaku.

Respective team forms:

United continued the unbeaten start to the season in all competitions on Saturday, with a hard-fought draw at Anfield in the Premier League with their defensive approach. The Reds have now gone eight games without defeat in the league and, having won the previous two Champions League outings this term, Jose Mourinho’s men will be confident going into the clash at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz on Wednesday night. Convincing wins against Basel and CSKA Moscow in the opening fixtures mean United can all but secure a place in the knock-out rounds with a win in Lisbon, while the Eagles will be looking to get their first points on the board in Group A, having lost both of their opening matches.

Rui Vitoria’s side have began their domestic season in good form, and they currently sit third in Liga Nos, having lost only once in their opening eight games. That loss came against Boavista last month, and since then a 2-1 win over Pacos Ferreira and a 1-1 draw with Maritimo have got their campaign back on track. However, the Eagles’ form in Europe has been altogether different. A 2-1 home defeat to CSKA and a 5-0 thrashing away at Basel have already put their chances of reaching the knock-out stages in real jeopardy. Nevertheless, veteran striker Jonas will be one to look out for, the 33-year-old Brazilian has already scored 10 goals in all competitions this season.

It will be an even competition with the mental edge slightly shifted towards Manchester United.

Upon the encounter:

United have a long record and a rich history of facing Benfica, and their head-to-head record in this fixture is a positive one with the Red Devils winning six out of nine occassions.

The Reds faced Liga Nos teams in 21 games winning on 14 occassions,their games against Benfica being one of the most significant ones.

Sir Matt Busby’s side has beaten Benfica en-route to the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1966, and also Eusebio’s Benfica in the 1968 European Cup final.The Reds also met the Potuguese giants under Sir Alex Fergusson in 2005/06 and 2006/07 in their UCL campaign.Most recently, the points were shared in both matches of the 2011/12 Champions League group stages.

This match will mark a return to Lisbon for Mourinho,Nemanja Matic and Lindelof. Jose Mourinho replaced Jupp Heynckes in 2000/01 for The Eagles, before resigning in December after club president Manuel Vilarinho refused to extend his contract. Meanwhile, Matic represented Benfica from 2011 to 2014, making 73 appearances. Lindelof was acquired from the Lisbon side in the summer transfer where he had spent five seasons winning three league titles.

Portuguese journalist Tom Kundert, of PortuGOAL, has given his views on Wednesday’s opponents. He said: “Benfica have a settled team who know each other and their system back to front. Lots of their players have won a lot and have plenty of big-game experience, and they have a good variety of attacking weapons – big strikers, skilful strikers and goalscoring wingers. Their best players are skilful and prolific Brazilian forward Jonas, holding midfielder Fejsa and their box-to-box midfield general, Pizzi.”