Jones and Martial start, 3-4-1-2: Strongest Manchester United XI to face Benfica

Manchester United will look to secure their spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League when they entertain Benfica at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. The Red Devils edged the Portuguese champions in a closely-fought encounter nearly a fortnight ago, but Jose Mourinho will expect a much stronger performance being at home.

Formation: 3-4-1-2


David de Gea has started each of the last three Champions League outings for United, and he is certain to start on Tuesday night to assure the club’s qualification to the last 16. The back three has been the way forward for Mourinho of late, and the gaffer could hand Jones his first Champions League appearance of the season alongside Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling.

Antonio Valencia made his European bow in the 1-0 win at the Estadio da Luz, and the Ecuadorian will most likely to retain his spot at right wing-back with Matteo Darmian in the opposite direction. Ashley Young was simply brilliant in the 1-0 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur, and Mourinho could keep him afresh for the Premier League outing against ex-club Chelsea this weekend.

Onto the midfield, the likes of Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, and Michael Carrick are still far off from making the starting lineup, and this will certainly see Mourinho persist Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic for most of the game.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was a massive disappointment in the close win over Spurs, and he could be potentially dropped for Jesse Lingard in the number 10 position. Ahead of the Englishman, Mourinho could opt for the strike partnership of Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku, who seem to excel working in tandem.


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