Tuesday 27 September 2016

It's the Champions League draw Manchester United were hoping for

Published 27/08/2015 | 19:01

Wayne Rooney, right, Luke Shaw, centre, and Memphis Depay leave the pitch at the end of the Champions League play-off round
Wayne Rooney, right, Luke Shaw, centre, and Memphis Depay leave the pitch at the end of the Champions League play-off round

Manchester United avoided all the big hitters in the Champions League draw and they will fancy their chances of making progress after being placed in Group B alongside PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg.

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Even though United boss Louis van Gaal claimed he top teams in Pot 1 would have been keen to avoid United, he will be delighted to have side-stepped early meetings with defending champions Barcelona and German giants Bayern Munich.

The trip to Eindhoven will see Memphis Depay make a swift return to the club he left to join United earlier this summer, while games against CSKA Moscow German side Wolfsburg - who are likely to be without Man City transfer target Kevin De Bruyne - should ease offer them a passage to the last 16.

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  • Manchester United faced PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Cup in 1984-85, and then in the group stages of the Champions League in 2000-01, while the big headlines this season will revolve around Memphis Depay, who will meet the team-mates he left in the summer but with hopes of adding to the two wins United already boast against their Dutch opponents. Louis van Gaal will also be hopeful of getting one over the rivals of his old team Ajax.
  • United have only faced CSKA Moscow twice before, in the group stages of the Champions League in 2009-10, with the Reds snatching a win in Russia and then playing out a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford.
  • Coincidentally, 2009-10 was also the only season when United faced Wolfsburg, in the same group as CSKA Moscow in fact, the Reds winning 2-1 at Old Trafford and then 3-1 in Germany.

Read more: Champions League draw: Arsenal get Bayern, Man City get Juve

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