Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jesus happy to work with meagre resources as Benfica prepare for visit of Manchester United

Manchester United's Champions League campaign gets under way tonight in Lisbon, where last season's beaten finalists take on Benfica. Ahead of the game, coach Jorge Jesus has been talking about the disparity between Benfica and Manchester United, "Usually in the Champions League, the teams at the top are the ones who are strongest economically," said Jesus. "Teams from Portugal have to work in a different way. We have to discover players without money. "We have to work in order to get these top players but our results proved that we can still surprise teams," said the Benfica coach.

United go into this fixture without the first-choice centre-back pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, the fact that the manager won't be too concerned about such high-profile absentees is testament to Fergie's work in the transfer market over the last 12 months.

Phil Jones has rightly been receiving plaudits from pundits' and fans' alike following his faultless performances since his move from Blackburn; the same can be said of Chris Smalling who has been a revelation following his move from Fulham last year. Jones and Smalling are both versatile and therefore they give Ferguson top quality defensive options.

Ahead of the game, Fergie has been talking to the media about Wayne Rooney when making comparisons with the great Pele - while many may think that comparison is stretching it a bit too far, there's no doubting the United striker has so far been one of the player's of the season.

United will be looking to get off to a good start with a Champions League win in Lisbon, in so doing ensuring the team's flying start on the domestic front continues in Europe. Chelsea are the visitors to Old Trafford on Sunday and the manager will be hoping there are no further injury concerns following the Benfica game.

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