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Injury-hit Manchester United face a tough ride against Benfica

| 14.09.2011

Sir Alex Ferguson may be without four key defenders for Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Lisbon.

Nemanja Vidic remains sidelined while Rio Ferdinand is still recovering from playing 90 minutes on Saturday and late fitness tests for Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra means Ferguson is considering his options.

While the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have coped exceptionally with the Premier League, the Champions League is a different entity and Benfica hold plenty of European experience.

Match Odds

Benfica are the 10/3 underdogs for this match but this is easily Manchester United’s toughest group game and while they have started the season in magnificent form, so to have Benfica.

Manchester United may be the 5/6 favourites but Benfica will be confident of extending their unbeaten run this season to nine games should Fergie field a back five of David De Gea, Darren Fletcher, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Fabio.

Jorge Jesus has lost just one of his five home Champions League games as coach of Benfica and shold Evans and Evra not pass fitness tests, the draw would not be a bad result for Manchester United at 5/6.

Total Goals

Three of the four Champions League ties between the two teams have produced over 2.5 goals and considering the goalscoring starts both sides have made to the season, the 5/6 for over 2.5 goals looks the pick of the betting.

With eight goals already this season Wayne Rooney is clearly the danger to Benfica but it is his opposite number Oscar Cardozo who looks the best bet in the first goalscorer betting at 7/1.

Basel vs Otelul Galati

It’s been a poor start to the season for Otelul Galati who have taken just seven points from their opening six league games and they will be the whipping boys in Group C.

Basel won 4-0 on Saturday and they look banker material at 8/13 to win on Wednesday.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.