We simulated the Champions League draw ahead of the real thing on Thursday evening, and it wasn’t great news for United or City.
The Champions League draw takes place on Thursday evening with holders Man City and the returning Manchester United among the heavyweights awaiting their fate….CONTINUE READING
City won the tournament last season as part of their historic treble when they beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the final. United are back in Europe’s elite competition after a year’s absence after Erik ten Hag steered the Reds to third place in the Premier League in his debut campaign at Old Trafford.
United are in pot two for the draw, meaning they cannot face Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Porto, RB Leipzig, Inter Milan or Arsenal. Clubs from the same country cannot be drawn against each other meaning there will be no Manchester derby in the group stage.
City are in pot one alongside Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG, Sevilla, Napoli, Benfica and Feyenoord. Here’s how our simulated draw panned out, with both Manchester clubs facing treacherous paths to the knockout stage.
Group A: Barcelona, Porto, Shakhtar, Galatasaray.
Group B: PSG, MANCHESTER UNITED, AC Milan, Real Sociedad
Not an easy task for United. The Champions League title might have eluded the French champions but PSG are regulars in the latter stages of the competition and in Kylian Mbappe have one of the world’s best players. AC Milan sit top of Serie A and have started the season in impressive style, while Real Sociedad won at Old Trafford in the Europa League last season.
Group C: Bayern Munich, Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, Young Boys
Group D: Napoli, Leipzig, Braga, Antwerp
Group E: MANCHESTER CITY, Real Madrid, Lazio, Lens
Of all the teams City will have wanted to avoid, Madrid will have been top of the list. The Blues may well have dismantled them on their way to the trophy last season but Real remain a high class outfit steeped in European history and with the signing of Jude Bellingham, are arguably stronger this time around. Italian side Lazio have begun the Serie A season poorly but finished second to Napoli last season. French outfit Lens are the weakest side in the competition according to the UEFA co-efficient and are yet to win in their domestic league so far this term and would surely be no match for Pep Guardiola’s side….CONTINUE READING
Group F: Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid, Salzburg, Union Berlin
Group G: Sevilla, Inter, FC Copenhagen, Celtic
Group H: Benfica, Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Newcastle
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