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Manchester United’s best and worst-case Champions League draw scenarios

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Manchester United’s new chapter in this season’s UEFA Champions League begins this afternoon, with the draw beginning at 5 pm.

United will find out who their competitors will be in the competition’s group stage, as every fan waits in anticipation for who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad will face.

The club qualified for the Champions League after finishing second in the 2020/21 Premier League season on 76 points.

It must be remembered too that clubs from the same leagues cannot come up against each other at this stage of the tournament.

United have been placed into pot two in the draw, meaning they cannot draw the likes of Juventus, Barcelona, PSG, Paris Saint Germain and Borussia Dortmund.

Here are the pots everyone needs to be aware of:

Pot One : Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Inter, Lille, Manchester City, Sporting, Villarreal.

Pot Two: Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Manchester United.

Pot Three: Ajax, Atalanta, Benfica, RB Leipzig, FC Porto, RB Salzburg Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit

Pot Four: Besiktas, Club Brugge, Dynamo Kyiv, Malmo, AC Milan, Sheriff Wolfsburg, Young Boys.

With this all in mind, we take a look at the best and worst-case scenarios for Manchester United in the draw.

Best-case scenario

Angel Gomes left United a year ago and it is paying off Lille

Topping PSG to the Ligue 1 title last season, Lille have an exceptional team that can frighten anyone.

However, they have been struggling in the new season’s opening, winning just once in their last five matches. The game they won, though, was against PSG in the French Super Cup.

A trip to France also isn’t the longest journey in the world, meaning United will be fresher in time for the weekend’s Premier League action.

Ajax

The team from Amsterdam took the tournament by storm three seasons ago, with the class of 2019 showing the rest of Europe how sensational they really were.

Since then, there has been a bit of a drop-off, partially due to players such as Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek leaving for new adventures.

An away day to the Johan Cruyff Arena is always special, especially when ‘three little birds’ starts being belted in the stadium.

It would also prove to be a sturdy test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team, as they have a solid reputation for being one of the hardest teams to beat under Erik ten Hag.

Club Brugge

The team from Belgium won the First Division A last season, and have started the new campaign in sensational style.

They are currently second in the league, level on points with Eupen.

Again, this would be beneficial to United because they wouldn’t have to travel far when playing the fixtures.

Phillipe Clemont plays an attacking style of football that is catchy on the eye, but United should have enough firepower to beat them.

Another great away day too.

Worst-case scenario

Bayern Munich

Leroy Sane was booed by Bayern Munich fans after a disappointing display against Cologne An obvious choice. Despite having a poor start to the league this season, Bayern still possess one of the most frightening attacking lines in Europe and they would be a threat to any team this season.

Now under the reigns of Julian Nagelsmann, one of the brightest managers in the whole of Europe, United will know what to expect, having come up against his RB Leipzig side in the group stage last season.

United beat them 5-0 at Old Trafford but lost 3-2 in Germany, so Solskjaer will know what he’s up against, especially with more quality players at his disposal.

Solskjaer has a history against Bayern that doesn’t need to be repeated. Let’s hope he can work his magic again if United face them in the competition.

Porto

Traditionally a hard team to play against, Porto have a history against United and have always been a difficult side to beat.

From Jose Mourinho trodding down the Old Trafford dugout to Cristiano Ronaldo scoring 40-yard screamers, this tie has a history and they won’t be an easy team to beat.

They finished second last season in the Primeira Liga, five points behind Sporting CP. However, they have started the season well and have won their last two games.

You may notice this piece of writing has been produced by a name you’re not familiar with on our regular Manchester United content.

That is because we are expanding our horizons and starting to bring even more to you from a whole host of different voices. We have appointed a whole host of people who – like our journalists – care deeply about what’s happening at Old Trafford – but sit in the stands rather than the press box.

We want to give you raw, authentic fan voices about the big issues at Man United – which is why the story you have read today might sit on the Manchester Evening News for now, and is part of the MEN family, but is not representative of those who work there full time.

Keep your eyes peeled for more info on where you can read more from this author in the future. But in the meantime, we hope you enjoy what they have written.

AC Milan

United supporters need no reminding of how difficult this team was in last season’s Europa League contest.

United came out as 2-1 aggregate winners in the end, after Paul Pogba scored the vital goal to put United through to the next round.

However, they have since added players like Olivier Giroud and are close to completing the signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko, so they will be even tougher than they were before.

They have begun their opening Serie A campaign with a win against Sampdoria, courtesy of a goal by Brahim Diaz.

Whoever United faces in the competition, Solskjaer will hope his team can progress far in this season’s Champions League.

What is United’s easiest draw? Follow our new United Fan Brands writer Omar Garrick on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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