Sports Football Man Utd's Best & Worst Case Champions League Group Stage Draw for...

Man Utd’s Best & Worst Case Champions League Group Stage Draw for 2020/21

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The Manchester United Club Crest with a Champions League Match Ball
The draw for the Champions League group stage is on Thursday afternoon | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Manchester United might have left it to the final day of the 2019/20 season, but the win over Leicester ensured Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men can be enjoying Champions League football this time period.

The Red Devils have been written off within the first half of the season after a sequence of underwhelming and unconvincing shows. But Solskjaer’s men went undefeated within the final 14 games to ebook their place within the top 4 and subsequently, the Champions League. It can be truthful to say the arrival of a sure Bruno Fernandes was… properly, instrumental to United’s upturn in form.

Jesse Lingard
Man Utd booked their place within the Champions League with a win on the final day of the 2019/20 season | Pool/Getty Images

Sure, Solskjaer has divided opinion, but securing a top-four spot was one other main indicator that he is main the workforce within the right path.

With the draw for the Champions League group phases on Thursday, we take a look on the best and worse case situations for United…

Pot One – Porto

Alex Telles
Man Utd have been closely linked with Alex Telles | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Key man: Alex Telles

League position 2019/20: 1st

Other attainable teams within the pot: Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Zenit St Petersburg.

There are, properly…a truthful few teams in Pot One that Man Utd fans can be eager to see their club stay properly clear of within the draw – such as Bayern, or Liverpool, or Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain…the list goes on.

However, Porto and Zenit are seen as maybe the ‘simpler’ teams to go up towards, and both can be thought-about a main plus for the Red Devils. But it is Porto who we have gone for. As a workforce who play with two imposing strikers, Zenit will look to make life difficult for United and will expose a few of their defensive frailties. It’s also an away fixture that might require one heck of a journey.

And while Porto will pose a actual risk as properly, United ought to have more than sufficient high quality to outplay the Portuguese champions.

Oh, and if United end up signing star man Alex Telles before the window slams shut, then that is simply an added bonus, is not it?

Pot Three – Olympiakos

Pape Abou Cisse, Joao Moutinho
Olympiakos have been defeated by Wolves within the Europa League last time period | Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Key man: Youssef El-Arabi

League position 2019/20: 1st

Other attainable teams within the pot: TBD

Olympiakos booked their place on this season’s Champions League after overcoming Omonia Nicosia within the play-off round, successful 2-0 on aggregate.

They upset Arsenal within the Europa League last time period before being knocked out within the last 16 by Wolves. While they’re resilient defensively and do have players succesful of unlocking a defence, they do have faults which United would possible exploit.

This locations them in direction of the top of the list when contemplating the more beneficial opponents from Pot Three.

Pot Four – Club Brugge

Vanaken has began the 2020/21 season impressively | BRUNO FAHY/Getty Images

Key man: Hans Vanaken

League position 2019/20: 1st

Other attainable teams within the pot: TBD

Along with Hungarian side Ferencvaros, Club Brugge are one of the more interesting teams to draw from the last pot. Of course, Solskjaer and his staff can be aware of their system and magnificence of player after their Europa League confrontations in 2019/20.

While they did carry the combat to a sub-par Real Madrid after they have been within the Champions League, they went on to concede 12 instances in whole within the group phases. That was before they dropped into the Europa League and have been slightly comfortably brushed apart by yep, you guessed it, United.

Man Utd fans cannot actually hope for a better outcome, can they?

Pot One – Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski was in scintillating form in 2019/20 | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Key man: Robert Lewandowski

League position 2019/20: 1st

Other attainable teams within the pot: Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Sevilla Zenit Saint Petersburg, Porto.

Well, fairly actually, we might have picked a complete host of teams from Pot One – but Bayern can be the hardest of all checks…even when they did show they’re human of their defeat to Hoffenheim lately.

To spotlight simply how powerful an opponent the German giants can be, it could be worth alluding to their record within the group phases last season; they won all six matches, scoring 24 instances within the course of and conceding simply 5 instances.

They are relentless – simply ask Chelsea or Tottenham fans.

Pot Three – Inter

Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku
United might face off towards some former players | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Key man: Romelu Lukaku

League position 2019/20: 2nd

Other attainable teams within the pot: TBD

Any of the three Italian sides (Inter, Lazio and Atalanta) can be a powerful take a look at for the Red Devils, while last season’s semi-finalists RB Leipzig are one other workforce Solskjaer’s side can be trying to steer clear of. But it is Antonio Conte’s Inter who might create probably the most issues. They will take a look at United’s defensive energy via the runs from midfield as properly as the tempo and energy up front with Romelu Lukaku.

A deadly workforce offensively while also defensively resolute, United would need to be at their best. It can be an glorious contest and a very entertaining look ahead to the impartial, but this a tussle United fans would slightly keep away from.

Oh, and there is all the time the chance of some of the previous Reds coming back to hang-out them, which would not be perfect now wouldn’t it?

Pot Four – Rennes

Eduardo Camavinga
Camavinga is one of probably the most thrilling younger abilities round | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Key man: Eduardo Camavinga

League position 2019/20: third

Other attainable teams within the pot: TBD

At first look, some might conclude that this might be a one-sided affair…but they might be wrong. Very wrong. After quietly impressing in 2019/20 – ending third in Ligue 1 before the French season was reduce brief – Rennes have now made a flying start to the 2020/21 marketing campaign.

Not solely have they not lost but of their opening 5 Ligue 1 matches, they also sit on the top of the table – sure, above PSG. Sure, it might be early (very early) within the season, but they have already put in some very assured shows towards Saint-Etienne and Monaco.

Are we saying they are going to win the league this season ahead of PSG? No. But that is a workforce enjoying with confidence and id. While United can be trying to keep away from the likes of RB Salzburg (who’re nonetheless but to formally qualify), Lokomotiv Moscow and Marseille, Rennes will top the list of teams the Red Devils ought to hope they’ll stay away from in Pot Four.

For more from Adam Aladay, follow him on Twitter!

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