Benfica – Manchester United – UEFA Champions League: 18th October 2017
We have to say that Jose Mourinho returns to his native country without a number of important players: Carrick, Fellaini, Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Rojo are injured and Bailly is uncertain. Under these circumstances, the English have to improvise, but have shown in the last few weeks that they have a very well organized game, based more on group strength than on individual successes. Benfica has no batch problems, but he knows that this match is decisive for the European future.
Mourinho is a defensive defensive master
In the last official match in Portugal, Benfica rested a few basic players in the Olhanense Cup victory, score 1-0. Except for Basel’s humiliation in the second round of UCL (0-5), the “eagles” have good results and are hard to beat, even if the level of rivals in Portugal is not great. “Devils” come in a 0-0 draw at Liverpool in the Premier League derby, but it was exactly the result of Mourinho, who was barred for 90 minutes.
It is interesting that in 4 of the last 5 direct duels scored both teams, the scores being 2-2, 1-1, 3-1 and 2-1 (one victory for each team). Another match ended with United’s short victory in Lisbon, score 1-0, in 2006. A mature team, Manchester United, comes to play tactics in Portugal and counts on Mata, Mkhitaryan and Lukaku’s flashes to win. It will not play at an alert pace and the huge stack will make both bands more concerned with the defensive than usual.