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The wait is nearly over to find out who Manchester United will be assembled with in the group stage of this season’s Champions League.
The draw takes place at 17:00 BST in Istanbul, Turkey, and the Reds are one of eight teams that will make up Pot Two later this evening.
It means that we cannot meet with any of our fellow Pot Two sides FC Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Sevilla at this stage. Liverpool are also in our seeding group, but teams of the same nationality cannot be paired at this stage of the competition, regardless.
The same therefore goes for Chelsea and Manchester City, who are both included in Pot One as winners of the Champions League and Premier League, respectively.
But we can be grouped with any other side in the competition and with the full 32-team line-up confirmed following the final qualifying matches last night, you have been having your say on who you would like, and not like, us to face in the historic competition over the coming months!
The current results make for fascinating reading…
YOUR POT 1 SELECTION
Pot One includes the eight teams that will be drawn out first this evening, but whose group do you want United to land in?
Well, we asked you that question earlier in the week too, and today’s results show that you were not bluffing! Sporting Club topped the polls a few days ago and the reigning Portuguese champions are still doing so on draw day, with 29 per cent of the vote at the time of writing. The Lisbon-based side that the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Bruno Fernandes arrived in Manchester from last visited Old Trafford themselves at the same stage of the competition back in the 2007/08 season, and a memorable late winner ensured the encounter made it into our six most atmospheric Champions League group nights at our M16 home – find out the other five here.
YOUR POT 3 SELECTION
Sporting are narrowly topping that vote, ahead of French league winners Lille (25 per cent) and Europa League holders Villarreal (20 per cent) but the leader of the Pot Three poll is a little more clear-cut. Out in front with 21 per cent is Russian side Zenit St Petersburg, whose city hosts this year’s final. The majority of you obviously want the Reds to become familiar with their Gazprom Arena in the hope it will stand us in good stead during a hoped return later in the season…
YOUR POT 4 SELECTION
The most popular choice to complete the group is Sheriff Tiraspol with 27 per cent of the Pot Four vote. The Moldovan side qualified for the group stage for the first time in their history on Wednesday evening, becoming the first club from their country to do so in the competition’s history, after they knocked out Dinamo Zagreb on aggregate to progress through their fourth preliminary round this summer. They enter the phase as the lowest-ranked team in the competition and, should we be paired, it would be the first-ever meeting between the two sides and our first-ever game against a club from Moldova. History therefore beckons if the current polls are a sign of anything to come!
WHO YOU DO NOT WANT
As with all polls however, there has to be options that are lesser chosen and, in this case, they make up the teams that you least want United to be grouped with this evening.
From Pot One, that team is La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, who have only received five percent of the vote on the Official App. It suggests that ticking off new grounds has not been the motivating factor for the majority of Reds, with United yet to play at Atleti’s new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium since it opened its doors back in 2017.
While Sporting are the popular choice in Pot One, their Liga NOS counterparts Benfica are not as fancied, with the least amount of votes in Pot Three (seven per cent), while Dynamo Kyiv’s three per cent roots them to the bottom of the Pot Four poll. We faced the Ukrainian side in the competition’s group stage en route to lifting the trophy back in 2008, but hopes of that being a good omen are in the minds of only a minority here!
The polls are still live and will remain so right up until this evening’s draw, so be sure to have your say…