Manchester United will discover their group in this year’s Champions League when the draw takes place in Monaco on August 30.
Jose Mourinho’s men sailed through a group comprising of Benfica, FC Basel and CSKA Moscow last season, claiming 12 points from a possible 15.
The melting point for their 2017/18 campaign – when things turned sour and toxic and essentially unbearable – came in the knockout phase against Sevilla, however, with Man United bottling the second leg at Old Trafford.
The worst thing for United could be to go through the same motions again. A memorable European adventure can render any season positive. And as such, it is worth looking at how the Champions League groups could shape up this time around.
Pot 1: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Lokomotiv Moscow
Pot 2: Borussia Dortmund, FC Porto, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Benfica, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Roma
Pot 3: Liverpool, Dinamo Kiev, Schalke, Lyon, Monaco, Salzburg, CSKA Moscow, PSV Eindhoven
Pot 4: Valencia, Viktoria Plzen, Celtic, Club Brugge, Galatasaray, Dinamo Zagreb, Inter Milan, Hoffenheim
United were lucky to draw Benfica from Pot 1 last season. They are likely to take on a top side early on in the campaign, which may prove to be a useful test.
An ‘group of death’ for Mourinho could take the following shape: Real Madrid, Monaco and Inter Milan.
A ‘nice’ group, on the other hand, could look something like this: Lokomotiv Moscow, Dinamo Kiev, Viktoria Pilzen.
The likes of Valencia, Galatasaray, PSV Eindhoven, Lyon and Schalke are teams who could provide United with a stern test once European football returns.