Anderson braced for Benfica battle

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Manchester United midfielder Anderson is relishing a return to Portugal tonight, but has warned his teammates to expect a tough test in the Estádio da Luz.

The Águias have, like United, made a perfect start to their domestic campaign, and will be full of confidence ahead of the arrival of the English league champions.

Anderson spent a season in the Primeira Liga with Porto before moving to Old Trafford in the summer of 2007, and is enjoying his best individual start to a campaign to coincide with the club's dominance at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

"The season has been great for me so far," said the Brazilian midfielder.

"It is very special to play here as a former Porto player. Benfica are stronger now than when I played in Portugal for Porto.

"They are growing and are more experienced. The coach is very good so they will be difficult to beat."


Sir Alex Ferguson echoed the sentiments of his midfielder, expecting the battle in the centre of the pitch to be key to the overall outcome of the match.

“The opening game is the toughest for us. Benfica are always a handful and we always expect a difficult game. I watched a couple of their games away from home last season and they were absolutely brilliant," he told the official Manchester United website.

“I think the hardest part for us will be picking the midfield in that particular game. That area will be the biggest challenge.

“They operate with three midfield players in there. They don’t play anyone off the front. They play three actual midfield players so we’ll have to have a look at that.”

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