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Benfica v Man Utd



Estadio da Luz
Tuesday, 26 September
Kick-off: 1945 BST

Manchester United have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the Champions League tie with Benfica in Lisbon.


Mikael Silvestre (ankle), Ryan Giggs (hamstring) and Park Ji-Sung (ankle) have already been ruled out.
Louis Saha seems almost certain to earn a recall up front, where he is likely to partner Wayne Rooney.
United are looking to avenge their defeat against the same opponents last season - a loss which ended their European campaign before Christmas.

Manchester United (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Neville, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Heinze, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Scholes, Richardson, O'Shea, Jones, Ronaldo, Saha, Rooney, Solskjaer, Smith.



BIG MATCH STATS

Head-to-heads
Benfica and Manchester United have met on five previous occasions, with Benfica winning just once. Last season's 2-1 victory saw the Portuguese club through to the Champions League knockout stages at the cost of United.
The Red Devils and Benfica also met in the 1968 Champions Cup final which United won 4-1 to become the first ever English club to lift Europe's most prestigious club trophy.


European history
Benfica have won the Champions Cup twice, in 1961 and 1962, and are taking part in their fourth Champions League season.
Manchester United have won the Champions Cup/Champions League twice (1968, 1999), the Cup Winners' Cup once (1991), the European Super Cup (1991) and the Intercontinental Club Cup (1999). They are competing in their 12th Champions League campaign.


Current European form
Benfica are unbeaten in four European home matches, keeping a clean sheet in the last three.
United have not won any of their last eight Champions League away matches - an unwanted sequence that equals Arsenal's English record in the competition.


Player and disciplinary info
Midfielder Rui Costa is the most seasoned player in the Benfica squad with 47 CL appearances. Nuno Gomes is their top scorer with five CL career goals, and Petit is celebrating his 30th birthday on the eve of the match.
Gary Neville (93), Ryan Giggs (88) and Paul Scholes (85) are three players from the Manchester United squad that rank amongst the 10 players with most CL appearances. Ryan Giggs is the CL top scorer in United's current squad with 21 goals.


Other miscellaneous facts
Benfica lie 11th in their League with one win from the first three outings. On Friday, they drew 1-1 at FC Pacos de Ferreira with Kostas Katsouranis scoring their only goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo netted the equaliser in the 1-1 draw for Sir Alex Ferguson's side at Reading on Saturday, leaving them third in the Premiership table.
 

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After that performance against Reading, we better hope that Saha is completely fit. We're completely toothless with a lone out-of-form Rooney up front.
 

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I hope we get to see Scholes working hard and unafraid to take those thunderous long-range strikes that we've all come to know and love. The squad is stretched too thin and we're already looking tired. No fire in the bellies, unfortunately...

Still out of adversity, comes that unfailing Red Devil resolve to win. I just hope it shines thru and we give Benfica a good whacking.

Official UEFA Match Press Kit

A comprehensive 31 page booklet in PDF format listing match facts and other history of the clubs. Approx. 230 KB in size.
 

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Ronnie showed all his haters what he's made of. I've never doubted the kid, he has the will to win and become the best. That 2nd half was a true fighting performance by United.

I'm not a fan of Ronnies free kicks near the area. I think that when he's close to the box he just tries to pound it when we have the likes of Heinze and Giggs to place it in the corners. I mean when its 25-30 yards out his free kicks are extremely useful, but you can't expect to get that ball over the wall and into the net when you pound it from 20 yards.
 
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