Manchester United Champions League draw: What are the best and worst possible group stage draws?

The 32 teams that will challenge for the Champions League are now known

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The Independent Football

Manchester United return to the Champions League after a year absence after coming through their play-off tie with Club Brugge.

They are one of 32 teams in the competition that will vie for Europe's elite prize.

The draw for the group stage of the competition takes place on Thursday at 4.45pm BST - the full details about the draw can be found here. A shake-up to how the pots are arranged should mean their are some intriguing match-ups early in the competition.

But what are the best and worst possible outcomes for Manchester United?


Pot 1 - PSV Eindhoven: Officially the worst team in Pot 1 based on Uefa coefficient points. The Dutch champions have been shorn of their star striker from last season, with Memphis Depay joining Manchester United over the summer.

Pot 2 - Manchester United

Pot 3 - Olympiakos: According to Uefa's coefficient, Roma are a worse team than Olympiakos, but a trip to Athens to play the Greek champions would probably be more appealing than a trip to the Italian capital to play the Serie A side.

Pot 4 - FC Astana: The worst team in the competition based on Uefa coefficients are Astana, the Kazakhstan side that came through their play-off with APOEL. They are the first ever team from Kazakhstan to play in the Champions League.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi kisses the Champions League trophy



Pot 1 - Barcelona: The reigning champions boast one of the most lethal attacks ever assembled with Lionel Messi flanked by Luis Suarez and Neymar. Very few are looking beyond the Spanish champions when picking a favourite to win this season's title.

Pot 2 - Manchester United

Pot 3 - Shakhtar Donetsk: The Ukrainian side have long been noted for their high quality football and always provide a tricky match for any opponent. Officially the best team in Pot 3 according to Uefa's co-efficient. Sevilla, winners of the Europa League for the last two seasons, are also in Pot 3 but with clubs from the same country not allowed to meet at this stage, both they and Barcelona couldn't be in the same group.

Pot 4 - Wolfsburg: APOEL are officially the best team according to Uefa, however the Cypriot side wouldn't seem as daunting as Wolfsburg, who finished behind Bayern Munich in the German league last season. How dangerous they will be will be influenced by whether they hold on to last term's Bundesliga player of the season Kevin De Bruyne.

The final will be played at the San Siro


Which teams are in which pot?

Pot 1: Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Benfica, Paris-Saint Germain, Zenit St Petersburg and PSV Eindhoven

Pot 2: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Porto, Arsenal, Manchester United, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Manchester City

Pot 3: Shakhtar Donetsk, Sevilla, Lyon, Dynamo Kyiv, Olympiakos, CSKA Moscow, Galatasaray, Roma

Pot 4: Bate Borisov, Borussia Monchengladbach, Wolfsburg, Dinamo Zagreb, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Gent, Malmo, Astana