Who could Manchester United face in the Champions League play-off? Monaco, Sporting Lisbon and Fenerbahce lead candidates

United could face one of 10 teams in the play-off round in August for a place in the Champions League group stage

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The Independent Online

Manchester United have a better idea of who they could face in the Champions League play-off round when the 2015/16 gets underway.

Louis van Gaal guided United to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League – something his predecessor David Moyes was unable to do – but the club will still need to negotiate a tricky play-off round in order to reach the group stage.

With United already making their first move to strengthen their squad for a Champions League assault in the form of Memphis Depay, who will join once the transfer window reopens in a £23m move from PSV Eindhoven.

 

But now that most domestic seasons across Europe have come to a close ahead of the Champions League final, United can now take a good look at who they could face in a few months’ time.

The biggest point of interest sees a possible return to Old Trafford of Radamel Falcao, should the unlikely happen and he stays with Monaco. The French team are one of 10 sides that could face the Red Devils in the final qualifying round.

The full list of teams they could face is:

  • Sporting Lisbon – Third in the Portuguese Super Liga
  • CSKA Moscow – Second in the Russian Premier League
  • Lazio – Third in Italian Serie A
  • Club Brugge – Second in Belgian Jupiler League
  • Monaco – Third in French Ligue 1
  • Young Boys – Second in Swiss Super League
  • Sparta Prague – Second in Czech Liga
  • Fenerbahce – Second in Turkish Super Lig
  • Rapid Vienna – Second in Austrian Bundesliga
  • Panathinaikos – First in Greek Super League (place needs to be confirmed with Panathinaikos seven points clear with three games to go)

If either Shaktar Donetsk or Ajax fail to make it through the third round play-off, then Sporting Lisbon will be seeded and as such will not face United. If both clubs are knocked out, CSKA Moscow will join Sporting in being seeded, and Lazio will be seeded if CSKA are knocked out early.

The draw is due to take place on 7 August with the first leg to be played on 18-19 August and the second leg across 25-26 August.

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