Match: Manchester United vs Benfica
Competition: UEFA Champions League Group Stages
Stadium: Old Trafford
Date & KO Time: Tues 31 Oct 17 at 7.45pm GMT
Where can you watch it? – BT Sport 3
Happy Halloween! Tonight is the fourth match in this season’s Champions League Group phase and a win tonight will guarantee safe passage to the last 16. Man Utd’s form was perceived to be a little rocky before the Spurs match, largely from the shock loss against Huddersfield. However, the win against Spurs has put many fears to rest and we’re looking like a team that’s back on track. A convincing win tonight could set us up very nicely for the Chelsea match on Sunday; but Benfica will be up for it.
Predicted Line Ups
I’m going with the form of the table and it’s going to be a Man Utd win. It could be tough to break them down as they’ll likely deploy a two holding midfield formation to cover the defence. However, Benfica need to win this to give them half a chance of qualification to the knock-out phase or the Europa League. So I think it’ll be bizarre if Rui Vitoria set his team up for damage limitation in tonight’s match.
It’ll need to be a balanced approach from the Benfica Coach, too attacking and Man Utd can catch them on the break, too defensive and they won’t get the points they need. I think Mourinho will have his team set up to wait and see how Benfica set up and play before altering tactics after the first 10 minutes. I think it’ll be Benfica starting faster for this reason, but it’ll be by design from Jose.
Benfica will be up for it, and they didn’t play badly in the reverse fixture two weeks ago; the match was only separated by a goalkeeping error exploited by Rashford. I think Mourinho will eventually come out and try and kill the game off early in order to rest key players before the huge match on the weekend. Therefore, tonight; I’m predicting goals.
Full Time – Man Utd 4-1 Benfica
Half Time – Man Utd 2-0 Benfica
It’ll be a good game. Can’t wait for Kick Off and for Man Utd to continue their winning start in Europe’s most elite football competition! See you all at the Watchalong!