The Champions League group stage draw takes place in August and Manchester United will be hoping they don’t have to face some European heavyweights
Manchester United will be Europe’s premier league next season. Erik ten Hag led the Red Devils to a third-place finish in the Premier League and a spot in the Champions League group stage . This achievement comes after a year of absence from C1 and Man United have attended the Europa League regularly in recent times.
The Red Devils have been eliminated by Sevilla in the quarter-finals of the second division this season. While they have only reached that stage of the Champions League once since 2014. The 2023/2024 season will be the last edition of C1 with 32 teams in the group stage, after UEFA announced the new format from 2024 onwards. The draw for this season’s group stage takes place on August 31.
And, with the majority of Europe’s top leagues now decided, with most of the 32 group stage slots filled, United fans will begin to look at the home team’s potential opponents, and below. This will be the ideal group for the Red Devils next season.
The Red Devils will be in the second seed group for next season’s Champions League . Spanish giants Real Madrid, city rivals Atletico Madrid, Bundesliga pair Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig are among the teams United failed to face in the group stage, along with Portuguese club Porto and Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
The final team in the second seed will be decided depending on the outcome of next month’s Champions League final. If Manchester City wins, then Inter Milan will be in the second group. If the Italian club surprises then Shakhtar Donetsk, the newly crowned champion of Ukraine, will be selected in this group.
That scenario would see Feyenoord, who beat Erik ten Hag’s old side Ajax to win the Dutch championship, become one of the teams in the No. 1 seed group. Winner of the Europa final. League between Spanish team Sevilla and Jose Mourinho’s Roma will also enter group 1. This group already includes Manchester City, Napoli, Bayern Munich, PSG, Barcelona and Benfica.
There are four solid teams in the third group: Italian duo AC Milan and Lazio, along with RB Salzburg and Red Star Belgrade, the champions of Austria and Serbia. German club Union Berlin and French side Lens will be in group four while the other three with direct tickets – Newcastle United, Celtic and Real Sociedad – will be in one of the last two, along with six the winning team from the play-off round. That grouping could include Scotland’s Rangers and the likes of PSV Eindhoven and Marseille. Teams from the same country cannot meet, meaning Man United will avoid City and Newcastle United.
Thus, the lightest group for MU at the moment will include Feyenoord, Red Star Belgrade and Union Berlin rivals.