Manchester Uniteds best & worst case scenarios for Champions League draw
The Red Devils were handed a very favourable group last year, which they topped ahead of Basel, CSKA Moscow and Benfica, and will be hoping for more of the same this time around.
United will be in Pot 2 for the draw – meaning they avoid the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Napoli – though there are still some very, very difficult teams they could come up against…
BEST CASE SCENARIO
Man Utd's preferred draw
Pot 1: Lokomotiv Moscow
Pot 3: Ajax
Pot 4: AEK Athens
There is one team in Pot 1 that every side will want to draw: Lokomotiv Moscow. They qualified as champions of Russia, though their UEFA coefficient (22.500) means there could be as many as 27 higher ranked sides in the competition. They have also started this season poorly, seven points adrift of league leaders Zenit after only five games.
By virtue of being in the same domestic league, United have been spared a potential clash with last seasons finalists Liverpool – who are the toughest team in Pot 3. Otherwise, Eredivisie pair PSV and Ajax offer perhaps the tamest threat. There are a few banana skins in Pot 4, but AEK Athens, as well as Viktoria Plzen, should be easy enough to overcome.
WORST CASE SCENARIO
Man Utd's nightmare draw
Pot 1: Real Madrid
Pot 3: Monaco
Pot 4: Hoffenheim
There are plenty of teams to fear in Pot 1, none more so than defending champions Real Madrid who remain a fearsome proposition even without Cristiano Ronaldo. Drawing a Spanish side, with Barcelona and Atletico also options, would leave the door open to landing some of the fearsome Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A sides lurking in other pots.
Fortunately United cannot be drawn against Liverpool in Pot 3, but French sides Monaco and Lyon have serious pedigree and Schalke are another dangerous proposition. Even Pot 4 is littered with potentially dangerous teams, such as Hoffenheim and Inter Milan.
WHEN IS THE DRAW AND HOW CAN I WATCH IT?
The draw for this years Champions League takes place on Thursday, August 30 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The build-up begins at 6pm BST, with the draw itself expected to take place half an hour later, and can be watched either on BT Sport or via the live stream on Uefa.com.
WHEN WILL THE MATCHES TAKE PLACE?
Each team will play their group opponents twice, home and away, over six gameweeks. The group stage begins in the middle of September and runs until December, with matches played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Champions League group stage dates
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