‘Very tough group’ – Man Utd’s nightmare Champions League draw group reveal ahead of kickoff 

Manchester United's Champions League group stage fate will be revealed at 5 p.m. on Thursday when UEFA conducts the draw at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

And Erik ten Hag could be in for a nightmare as he leads the Red Devils into Europe’s top tournament for the first time.

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After finishing third in the Premier League last season, United has been put in Pot 2, alongside runners-up Arsenal.

Triple victors Manchester City has rejoined fellow domestic champions Sevilla, Barcelona, Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica, and Feyenoord in Pot 1.

The most intimidating top-seeded opponent will be Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, who have reinforced Thomas Tuchel’s firepower with a striker United is quite familiar with – Harry Kane.

United cannot be drawn against Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, FC Porto, or Arsenal from Pot 2.

Pot 3 and 4 have more potentially difficult ties, which Ten Hag will be keen to avoid.

Pot 3 includes Shakhtar Donetsk, Red Bull Salzburg, Lazio, Red Star Belgrade, and SC Braga, in addition to Serie A giants AC Milan.

Given their European experience, the San Siro outfit pose the greatest threat, but Pot 4 has perhaps a harder field of opponents.

Newcastle United are among the bottom seeds after a remarkable Champions League return in Eddie Howe’s first full season in charge.

However, United cannot draw the Magpies because they play in the same country. Union Berlin, Lens, Real Sociedad, and Celtic are among the teams the three-time champions may face.

No test will be more difficult than a visit to Turkish goliaths Galatasaray, who have assembled a fearsome group under Okan Buruk.

Hakim Ziyech, Mauro Icardi, Wilfried Zaha, Tete, Dries Mertens, Lucas Torreira, and Angelino are among the veteran players on the team.

And any coach would be dishonest if they stated they wanted to take their team to Istanbul, where the RAMS Park crowd will be hostile.

BSC Young Boys of Switzerland have yet to be assigned a group as UEFA awaits the conclusion of Wednesday’s qualifying play-offs.

AEK Athens hosts Royal Antwerp, who lead the series 1-0, while Copenhagen leads Rakow Czestochowa 1-0 heading into the second leg in Denmark.

Meanwhile, Rangers and PSV Eindhoven drew 2-2 last week at Ibrox, so the Scottish team must win in the Netherlands to join rivals Celtic in the draw.


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