Benfica v Manchester United: Big Match Preview

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Benfica v Manchester United;
Champions League Group C;
Estadio da Luz;
Weds, 14th Sep; 1945 KO


Benfica: Artur, Emerson, Luisao, M Pereira, Garay, Amorim, Garcia, Aimar, Gaitan, Witsel, Cardozo.

Manchester United: Lindegaard, Fabio, Evans, Smalling, Evra, Giggs, Carrick, Park, Fletcher, Valencia, Rooney.

SUBS: De Gea, Jones, Anderson, Nani, Owen, Berbatov, Hernandez.

Fergie wants to win it

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes his side are better equipped to win the Champions League this term after falling at the final hurdle last season.

The Red Devils have added to their squad this summer, with David de Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young all making an instant impact at Old Trafford in a perfect start to the Barclays Premier League season.

Moves were made in the transfer window on the back of a 3-1 Wembley final defeat to Barcelona, and the Red Devils chief believes his squad is now closer than ever to re-capturing the trophy they last won in 2007/08.

"We are coming closer all the time to getting another Champions League trophy," Ferguson said.

"The consistency has been very good for the last few years. That is a good guide to the standard we are just now in Europe and also the progress we are making.

"We want to continue that. In the last two years, I don't think we have lost an away game, apart from the final"

Tonight's clash comes 33 years after George Best's famous night at Wembley, when the Red Devils overcame Benfica in extra-time at Wembley to lift the old European Cup for the first time.


Ferguson admits the tournament has drastically changed in that period of time, with many more potential winners on a list of teams headed by Pep Guardiola's Barca.

However, the club's consistency and improvement is likely to stand them in good stead both domestically and in Europe, with the Scottish boss desperate to win the trophy once again this term.

"It is always a challenge for us. It is different winning the Champions League in the present day than it was 30 years ago," he continued.

"All the best teams are in Europe; Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Villarreal from Spain, Benfica and Porto from Portugal. Ourselves, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City. It is a very difficult tournament to win now.

"That is why I am pleased with the progress my team has made because you can see the consistency has been the hallmark of our game in the last few years.

"You always want to improve. It is the drive of every coach and every player. We hope we can, in all areas. The improvement we really do want is to win it."

UEFA Champions League
Manchester United

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