With the Champions League group stage draw approaching next week, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have one eye on who United might be drawn against.
Pot one of the draw – traditionally the top echelon – contains the Champions League holders, Europa League holders and the champions of the top six-ranked associations: Spain, England, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal.
Man United will therefore be drawn against one of the following top seeds: Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, LOSC Lille, Sporting C.P or Villarreal CF.
Sides from the same country can’t be drawn against each other at this stage, ruling out the possibility of United facing Manchester City or Chelsea.
Twenty-six teams are already assured of their places in the competition, with six yet to be decided based on the third qualifying round.
The Red Devils will be looking to improve on their last season’s performance in Europe.
After needing one point from the last two games against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, United lost both and were knocked out in the group stage.
The 3-2 loss against Leipzig is one that still haunts most fans.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side should be comfortable getting through the group stages this time, with some notable absences from pot one, such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and PSG.
The United squad is filled with top-class talent and, on their day, can beat any team in the world.
For travelling fans, the prospect of visiting Lisbon, Munich or Lille would be exciting.
Moreover, United have never played at Atletico’s new stadium. It would indeed be a great experience watching the Red Devils take the field at the Wanda Metropolitano.
On the Man Utd website, editor Adam Marshall states:
“It’s an atmospheric amphitheatre that would sound wonderful with the noisy travelling Reds belting out our anthems.”
The group-stage draw will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, next Thursday.