Manchester United have endured their first difficult spell of the season this autumn, with a goalless draw against Liverpool being followed by a rather stale performance against Benfica in the return fixture in Portugal. They then suffered their first defeat of the campaign away to Huddersfield, and many suspected that this could be the start of a downfall of sorts.
However, they have managed to come out the other side of this spell and marked their return to winning ways with a 2-0 victory in Swansea in the League Cup. This was followed at the weekend by a much more impressive win over Tottenham, thanks to a late Anthony Martial goal.
Now, The Red Devils’ attention turns back to the Champions League. They have won all three of their Champions League games so far and have conceded just one goal, scoring eight at the other end. This puts them top of the group, three points clear of 2nd placed Basel and six above CSKA Moscow in 3rd. This means that a win for Manchester Untied and CSKA Moscow failing to win in Basel would secure qualification to the knockout stages with two games remaining.
Benfica were expected to be the team in the running for 2nd place when these groups were drawn, but the Portuguese side have been absolutely dreadful so far. They opened their campaign with a 2-1 loss at home to CSKA Moscow, and then followed that with an abject performance in Switzerland as they were beaten 5-0 by Basel. They did improve when they hosted Manchester United last time out, but the result was still a defeat.
The visitors’ overall form is nothing to be proud of either. They have won just four of their last ten games in all competitions and have lost four times. Away from home in the Champions League they have lost four of their last six, conceding 17 goals in the process. Now they face a Manchester United side who have won all seven of their competitive home games this season, keeping a clean sheet in six of them and scoring a total of 22 goals.
We could be seeing a hammering at Old Trafford. Manchester United’s defensive stability at home shouldn’t be threatened by the poor Benfica, and with the visitors’ defensive record being so bad, it’s unlikely to be a close match. Six of Manchester United’s seven home games have seen them win by at least a two goal margin this season, so we’re backing a Manchester United -1.5 Asian Handicap. We’re also going for a Manchester United Win to Nil bet along with a 4-0 correct score prediction.
Romelu Lukaku looks a great value bet to find the net as well. The Belgian forward may have hit his first dry spell since joining Manchester United, but he has still scored ten times for his new club in just 13 appearances, so he will fancy his chances of getting back on the scoresheet on Tuesday.