Jose Mourinho states his prediction for Benfica v Man United

The Manchester United manager isn't underestimating Benfica despite their poor run of form

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: The Sport Review

Jose Mourinho insists his Manchester United squad are aware that Benfica’s recent struggles in the Champions League aren’t indicative of the quality in their team.

The Red Devils will make the trip to their manager’s native Portugal in search of a third successive Champions League which would put Manchester United one step closer to the knockout phase.

Mourinho’s side were emphatic 3-0 winners against Swiss champions Basel in their Champions League opener at Old Trafford before a 4-1 win at CSKA Moscow in Russia last month.

Benfica lost 5-0 to Basel in their last Champions League game after a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of CSKA Moscow in their opening European fixture of the 2017-18 campaign.

Manchester United have won six of their nine encounters, starting with a quarter-final triumph in the 1965/66 European Champion Clubs’ Cup and continuing with their 1967/68 final success at Wembley as the English side captured the trophy for the first time.

Mourinho, who led Benfica’s rivals Porto to the Champions League crown in 2004, is wary of the threat the Portuguese side will pose despite their difficult run of form.

“I think the [United] players were convinced in the meeting that we had in the morning, that the results are not the real indicator of the value of a team,” Mourinho told his pre-match media conference. “Benfica have a good team. They will be tricky adversaries for us.”

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