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Manchester United to learn cup competition opponents this week

by Conner Botterill

Manchester United will find out their Europa League group stage opponents on Friday, August 26.

As confirmed in The Express, the draw takes place in Istanbul, the venue of this years Champions League final.

Arsenal join United as the Premier League representatives, with last years runners-up Rangers needing to get past PSV Eindhoven to secure their place and complete the British contingent.

United cannot draw Arsenal in the group stage with clubs from the same country being kept apart until the knock-out phase.

The full line up for the group phase will be confirmed Thursday evening, after the last qualifiers have taken place.

The competition kicks off on September 8th, with the group phase wrapping up two months later on November 8th. This year’s group stage is sandwiched into a two month period due to the interruption of the World Cup, in Qatar.

Erik ten Hag will look to use the full depth of his squad to get through the early rounds, as clubs competing in European competition face a grueling pre-World Cup schedule.

United will also hope the draw is kind with regards to travel, giving the players as much recovery time as possible in the match packed period.

United do hold recent history in the Europa League and Jose Mourinho‘s 2-0 victory against Ajax remains the club’s last trophy success.

The club also reached the final in the 2020/21 season, Ole Gunnar Solskaer’s men losing a painful shootout in Gdansk to Spanish side, Villarreal.

United will fancy their chances in this year’s competition and are among the early favourites to lift the trophy in Budapest, next May.

The competition may carry even more significance for the club this year, due to the competitive nature of the Premier League, a Europa League success represents another route back to the lucrative Champions League.

United will also learn their opposition in another competition this week, with the EFL Cup draw taking place this evening.

 
 

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