Preview: Manchester United – Benfica

LISBON, PORTUGAL - OCTOBER 18: Eduardo Salvio of Benfica and Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United battle for possession during the UEFA Champions League group A match between SL Benfica and Manchester United at Estadio da Luz on October 18, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Manchester United are at the top of Group A, with a maximum of points after three rounds, while their visitors today have no points.

 

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Manchester United are unbeaten in the home European group stage games since a defeat to Cluj in the 2012-13 Champions League (CL).

Benfica arrive at Old Trafford with a poor recent defensive away record in European games. They have conceded 4+ goals in 3 of their last 4 European away games.

In a record stretching back to February 1966, United’s home record against Benfica reads: W3, D1, L0. The aggregate score from those games is United 10-8 Benfica.

Overall, United’s record against Portuguese opposition in European competition is W15, D5, L3 – although two of the defeats were by 4+ goals!

It was against Benfica that Manchester United won its first ever top-level European cup, with a 4-1 win in May 1968.

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Benfica’s all-time record against English opposition is W9, D6, L16.

If translated into a league for points per game against English opponents, Benfica have the second best record of the ‘big three’ Portuguese teams: 1.06 per game compared to Sporting Lisbon’s 1.33.

Clean sheets are a common occurrence for United in CL group games at Old Trafford. The last two CL group stages have seen United keep 2 clean sheets out of 3.

 

Missing players

Manchester United: M. Carrick (injury), M. Fellaini (knee injury), Z. Ibrahimovic (knee injury), P. Pogba (muscle injury), M. Rojo (knee injury)

Benfica: A. Almeida (red card), Luisao (red card), Jardel (doubtful), D. Pereira (ankle injury).

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