Nemanja Matic: Benfica are still a tough side to play against

Nemanja Matic: Benfica are still a tough side to play against

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has insisted his former team are still tough opposition despite their 5-0 thumping to Basel.

The Portuguese club have started their campaign in horrible fashion with a loss to CSKA Moscow before being humiliated by the aforementioned Swiss side.

This left many fans to assume that a routine win is on the cards when the Red Devils face Benfica on Wednesday evening.

However, Jose Mourinho and now Matic have both warned against Benfica’s ability and have rejected suggestions that another 4-0 win was on the way.

Nemanja made, possibly, his smartest career decision when he moved to Benfica as it was there that he made the switch from an attacking midfielder to a defensive one; a decision that makes him the top player he is today.

The Serbian said in a MUTV interview: “I was surprised [by poor CL start] because Benfica is a team who’s used to winning games.

“But they are a big club and they have good players, I think everyone there is hard to play against.

“There are six or seven players still there that played with me, and they have a few younger guys who want to show their quality, but I cannot mention any stand-outs because, as a team, they are really good.”

The Red Devils are looking to make it three wins out of three in the Champions League to put them in a strong position of topping their group.

United will face Benfica in their home stadium before hosting them at Old Trafford in a later fixture.

Mourinho will be hoping his team would’ve recovered from their recent international fixtures and the dull draw with Liverpool to take apart a strong Portuguese team.

Manchester United’s manager may not necessarily be aiming for a Champions League win already but he’ll certainly hope his players can navigate their way through to the latter stages of the competition.

It would be fair to say that fans feel the focus is on the Premier League this season and so long as the club qualify from the group stages of Europe’s top competition, they’ll be just fine.

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Freelance football writer and Football Manager enthusiast. Unhealthy obsession with tactics, debates and chasing after a ball with 21 other people.