Manchester United will look to maintain their perfect run in the UEFA Champions League this Wednesday. The Red Devils will travel to Portugal to take on Benfica at 19:45 BST. Jose Mourinho’s men will move closer to a berth in the next round with a win, although they can’t get complacent. Benfica will certainly try to turn things around after missing their past two matches against CSKA Moscow and FC Basel, respectively.
Jose Mourinho will have several absentees ahead of this match. Aside from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo – as both continue their respective rehabs from long-term knee injuries – a trio of key midfielders could be missing. Paul Pogba has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since mid-September, Michael Carrick has been out for the past three games with an undisclosed ailment, and Marouane Fellaini suffered knee ligament damage while playing for Belgium in the recent international break.
Eric Bailly also suffered an injury during international duty with Ivory Coast, and Mourinho confirmed his absence as well. The rest of the team, however, should be fit and available for Wednesday’s contest.
On the other hand, Benfica are nearly at full strength. Andre Almeida is out though. The right-back saw a red card in Benfica’s loss against FC Basel the last time out.
Manchester United have been on impressive form during the entire season. They are currently riding an 11-game undefeated streak across all competitions. They sit second in the Premier League standings with 20 points after eight games, and also sit at top of Group B standings in the Champions League following their previous two wins.
On the other hand, Benfica began their domestic season in good form. The Eagles currently sit third in Liga Nos, having lost only once in their opening eight games. Their lone defeat came last month against Boavista, so their domestic form has been impressive. Unfortunately, their European campaign started on the wrong foot with consecutive defeats against CSKA and Basel. Another defeat would practically bury their chances of reaching the next round.
It is hard to deny Manchester United’s form at the moment, and they are clicking in all cylinders. Despite Saturday’s draw against Liverpool, their morale should be at top on Wednesday. Benfica have been decent at the league level, but their Champions League form has been awful. The Red Devils are massive favourites, and they shouldn’t have problems to escape with three points from Estadio da Luz.
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