LISBON, Sporting Alert — Manchester United starting team for today’s Champions League Group A match against Benfica in Portugal. This game will stream live on Fox Sports GO USA, starting at 2:45 pm ET.
Marcus Rashford, Daley Blind, Juan Mata and Victor Lindelof return to the starting lineup for the Red Devils, who will be aiming for their third successive win in the group stage.
Lindelof, who joined United from Benfica in summer, comes into the team to partner Chris Smalling at center-back, while Blind will play at left-back and captain Antonio Valencia on the right.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 18, 2017
Rashford replaces Anthony Martial, who is only on the bench today, while Mata starts ahead of Ashley Young, who is also dropped to the bench.
Manchester United were a shadow of themselves in the 0-0 draw at Liverpool at the weekend where manager Jose Mourinho played a very defensive tactic.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was heavily criticized at Anfield and was pulled in the second half, will be hoping for a better performance today.
Romelu Lukaku will lead the attack, while Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic are the central midfielders again with Paul Pogba, Michael and Marouane Fellaini all out injured.
Unlike Manchester United who cruised through their opening two group matches, Benfica have some work to do after losing 2-1 to CSKA Moscow and then got hammered 5-0 by Basel.
Another defeat could mean curtains for Rui Vitoria’s side which is currently sitting last in the standings.
Benfica have won only one of their nine games against Manchester United in all competitions with six of those games ending in defeat. They last won in the 2005/06 Champions League group stages, a 2-1 victory at home.
Mourinho comes up against his former club, having managed his first game in European competition with Benfica in September 2000.
Benfica Team: Svilar, Douglas, Rúben Dias, Luisao, Grimaldo, Fejsa, Filipe Augusto, Pizzi, Salvio, Diogo Goncalves, Raul
Manchester United Team: De Gea, Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Blind, Herrera, Matic, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku. Subs: Romero, Darmain, Jones, McTominay, Lingard, Young, Martial