Sir Alex Ferguson is calling the Champions League tie against Benfica tonight as “a big game” because of the history between the two clubs in Europe but as typical of group stages ties involving Manchester United, it should prove to be a fairly routine affair. The Red Devils don’t usually run into too much trouble at this stage (though they did throw some wobblers in earlier ties this year) and a victory against their Portugese rivals tonight should see them finish in top spot in the Group stages.
They haven’t exactly been in blistering form since their humiliating defeat on home soil to rivals Manchester City but importantly they have been getting the job done and that is all that is required from tonight.
Team News For Manchester United
Despite sitting out of training on Monday for a “couple of knocks”, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is expected to feature tonight alongside defender Jonny Evans who has recovered from a tight hamstring. Captain Nemanja Vidic misses out via suspension (he is serving the final game of this two match ban).
Chris Smalling (foot), Danny Welbeck (muscle strain) and long term absentees Michael Owen and Tom Cleverly are out. There’s better news on Patrice Evra who seems to have fought off the nasty virus that has kept him out and he was part of the 21-man squad for tonight’s game.
United (from): De Gea, Lindegaard, Rafael, Fabio, Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Fryers, Nani, Valencia, Gibson, Carrick, Fletcher, Morrison, Park, Giggs, Young, Rooney, Hernandez, Berbatov, Macheda, Diouf.
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