Benfica v Manchester United Betting: Red Devils to get going early in search of third Champions League win

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Our tipster is backing Jose Mourinho's men to come out of the traps quickly when they face Rui Vitoria's charges in Wednesday's European Cup clash

Manchester United can stretch their unbeaten run for the season to 12 games when they travel to Portugal to face Benfica on Wednesday night.

Jose Mourinho's men have enjoyed a superb start in Group A, having cruised past Basel and CSKA Moscow respectively in their opening two games, and the men from Manchester will hope to strengthen their grip at the top of the section with a win in this one.

United are SportPesa's 4/5 (1.80) favourites to pick up maximum points in Portugal, while the odds compilers offer 27/10 (3.70) that the men from Manchester are forced to settle for a share of the spoils as they did on Saturday lunchtime when they shut out a dominant Liverpool side.

Andrija Zivkovic Benfica

Benfica have beaten Manchester United in just one of the nine meetings between these two clubs - including losing 4-1 in the 1968 European Cup final - and the pressure is on Rui Vitoria's team to buck that trend on Wednesday night, for the Portuguese side are pointless after two matches in Group A.

A 2-1 home defeat against CSKA Moscow was followed by a humiliating 5-0 battering in Basel and Benfica must find a return to form if they are to stand any chance of reaching the knockout stages of this competition; SportPesa offer 15/4 (4.75) that Vitoria's men claim a vital victory against Mourinho's men.

There have been at least three goals scored in all four games in this group so far this season and SportPesa go 20/21 (1.95) that the trend continues in this clash, while the same firm go 10/11 (1.91) that there are goals scored at both ends.

United, though, have shown superb defensive discipline so far this term; Mourinho's team have kept a clean sheet in eight of their 11 matches in all competitions this season, managing five clean sheets in their last seven fixtures.

Benfica Manchester United graphic

Punters, therefore, could be tempted to take a chance on SportPesa's 37/20 (2.85) quote for United to win to nil, for that selection would have paid dividends in seven of United's nine victories so far this season, while the same firm go 27/20 (2.35) that Mourinho's men keep Benfica at bay.

United's record on the road in this competition has been patchy in recent years; indeed, the men from Manchester won their first away tie in the Champions League in six attempts when they crushed CSKA Moscow last time out, but United should be full of confidence ahead of this clash, while Benfica could be forgiven for lacking in belief following that heavy defeat in Switzerland in their previous European outing.

The Red Devils have led at the break in both of their wins in this competition so far this season and SportPesa's 7/5 (2.40) quote for Mourinho's men to hold a half time lead in Portugal could offer good value for punters ahead of Wednesday's crucial Champions League clash.

Manchester United to lead at half time at 7/5 (2.40) for a 1pt stake with SportPesa
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