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UEFA Champions League

  • September 14, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz), Lisboa
  • Referee: D. Skomina
  • • Attendance: 63822

Champions League Preview: Benfica - Manchester United

Champions League Preview: Benfica - Manchester United

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Two teams with great history in Europe's premier competition go head-to-head in what should pose the sternest test of the group for last season's runners-up



Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Emerson
Witsel, Gaitan, Nolito
Saviola, Cardozo


De Gea
Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Fabio
Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Young
Rooney, Chicharito
Benfica are likely to line up similarly to their impressive 2-1 win over Vitoria Guimaraes, with the main choice for manager Jorge Jesus concerning old head Pablo Aimar. The Argentine has plenty of big-game experience but was left on the bench against Guimaraes with fellow countryman Javier Saviola playing ahead of him. Relative youngster and former Barcelona graduate Nolito might have given way if not for his sterling early-season form, so Aimar should be omitted. Spanish World-Cup-winning left-back Joan Capdevila is not even included in his new club’s 25-man squad list for the competition after failing to dislodge incumbent Emerson.

Sir Alex Ferguson will surely keep faith in most of the team that dished out such a hammering to Bolton at the weekend, with the only changes being enforced. Tom Cleverley (ligaments) is definitely out and defenders Jonny Evans (hip) and Patrice Evra (knee) are both doubts. Chris Smalling should return to the Red Devils' defence, with either he or Phil Jones filling in again at right-back, where both have done well out of position so far this season.

  • Benfica have made an unbeaten start to their season, winning their last three league games after drawing their first, and overcoming Trabzonspor and FC Twente on their way to the group stage.
  • United are not only unbeaten but have won every game they have played of the campaign so far.
  • Including the Community Shield victory over rivals Manchester City, Manchester United have scored an incredible 21 goals in their five matches this season.
  • This season is the 50th anniversary of Benfica’s European Cup triumph in 1961-62. That victory, inspired by Portugal legend Eusebio, was their second in as many years. They missed out on an unprecedented hat-trick by losing in the 1963 final and have not won Europe’s top prize since.
  • Striker Nolito, who moved to the Estadio de Luz from United’s nemesis Barcelona this summer, has scored five goals in his first five games for his new club, equalling a record held by Eusebio.
  • But striker Wayne Rooney has hit an even more impressive vein of goalscoring form, scoring eight in five so far.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head


Manchester United


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

SL Benfica SLB
SL Benfica Benfica
Manchester United FC MUN
Manchester United FC Manchester United

Top 3 Predictions

SL Benfica SLB
0 - 3
Manchester United FC MUN
SL Benfica SLB
1 - 3
Manchester United FC MUN
SL Benfica SLB
0 - 2
Manchester United FC MUN