Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson listens to a question during a news conference at Luz stadium in Lisbon. REUTERS Reuters

Manchester United will begin their sixteenth consecutive UEFA Champions League campaign away to Benfica Wednesday, as Sir Alex Ferguson's side look to go one better this season after losing 3-1 to Barcelona in the final back in May.

United have made a perfect start to their Premier League defence, scoring 18 goals in four consecutive wins. The two sides are familiar foes and tonight's game presents a rematch of the 1968 final, when United claimed their first European cup.

Ferguson is expected to make changes to his side following the 5-0 demolition of Bolton on Saturday but he remains wary of a Benfica side who have also had an unbeaten start to their domestic campaign.

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has no new injury concerns ahead of United's visit with summer signing Nolito expected to continue up front after scoring in each of his last five outings.

But Jesus believes United are overwhelming favourites to advance from Group C.

"Manchester United are the clear favourites but I think it will be a fight to the end for the other teams," Jesus said. "It is going to be very close."

Sir Alex Ferguson is without defender Rio Ferdinand who didn't travel to Portugal with the rest of the squad.

Nemanja Vidic is still absent with a calf injury so Phil Jones is expected to partner Jonny Evans in central defence.

Danny Welbeck's hamstring injury means one of Michael Owen or Dimitar Berbatov is likely to start in Portugal, with Ferguson expected to rest key personnel ahead of Chelsea's visit Sunday.

Prediction: Benfica 0 - 3 Man Utd

Man Utd probable XI: De Gea; Smalling, Jones, Evans, Evra; Giggs, Carrick, Anderson, Gibson; Berbatov, Hernandez.