Matchday 4 of this season’s Champions League is upon us this evening and one of the three British clubs in action is Manchester United, they already have a perfect record of nine points at present and will be looking to continue their run of results when they play host to Benfica at Old Trafford.
1-0 win’s seem to be the order day for Manchester United as of late, that was the score when the teams met in Matchday 3 in Lisbon when Marcus Rashford’s solitary goal was enough to see Jose Mourinho’s men return with maximum points as they sit pretty at the top of Group A.
And it was also a 1-0 win on Saturday which saw United bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League, Anthony Martial’s late goal proving to be the difference as the Red Devils got the better of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham.
It is a win that keeps United on the coat tails of Premier League leaders Manchester City but tonight the focus shifts to continental competition as they know that if results go their way they could book their place in the Round of 16 with two matches to spare.
Not only that though they will want to make sure that they confirm top spot to in theory give them an easier draw in the New Year, obviously the best way to do that is by making four wins from four as they go head to head with a Benfica side which are currently off the pace in Portugal.
Last season’s champions currently find themselves five points behind league leaders FC Porto while cross town rivals Sporting Lisbon also sit above them in a second some three points clear. Friday night saw Benfica get the better of Fairense at the Estadio Da Luz with a 1-0 win.
United will go into this game as heavy favourites and also they’ve perhaps lost their swashbuckling nature from the first couple of months of this season they are still a force to be reckoned with. Their squad depth will once again be highlighted tonight as Anthony Martial could well be rewarded with a start after his winning goal on Saturday.
If that is not to be the case then it could be a case of the double act of where Marcus Rashford starts the match and softens up the opposing defender before the French international Martial lays the knockout blow late on, something we saw to good effect at the weekend.
In fairness you could say that the two up top system of Rashford and Romelu Lukaku never really got going last weekend, there was obviously no faulting Rashford’s endeavour for the time he spent on the park and perhaps it was more down to the Belgian international’s preference to the lead the line on his own.
However United’s attack line is setup this evening you would imagine they will have too much in their locker for the traveling Benfica side. I cannot see it being anything other than a home win and it could well mean that United’ place in the knockout round is already secured.