Sunday 11 December 2016

Monaco or Lazio among five potential Champions League opponents for Man United

Manchester United's five potential Champions League play-off opponents have been confirmed, with French and Italian sides offering sternest test

Mark Ogden

Published 06/08/2015 | 07:40

Wayne Rooney's Manchester United must win a two-legged play-off to make the Champions League group stage
Wayne Rooney's Manchester United must win a two-legged play-off to make the Champions League group stage

Manchester United could be forced to overcome Monaco or Lazio to secure a place in the Champions League group stages after the club's five potential play-off opponents were confirmed on Wednesday night.

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United, who finished fourth in the Premier League last season, face a two-legged play-off later this month before confirming a return to the group stage of the competition.

Italian side Lazio and Monaco, who eliminated Arsenal from last season's Champions League at the last-16 stage, are the two opponents that United manager Louis van Gaal is likely to want to avoid in Friday's play-off draw.

CSKA Moscow, who claimed a 2-1 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in a group stage encounter last November, are also among the unseeded teams that United could face.

Rapid Vienna, conquerors of Ajax on Tuesday, and Club Brugge are the two other possible opponents for United, who are seeded alongside Valencia, Sporting Lisbon, Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayer Leverkusen.

United were eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Monaco in the 1997-98 season during the only previous meeting between the two sides, while Lazio triumphed on the one occasion they have met United – the 1999 Uefa Super Cup final.

Having never met Club Brugge in competitive action, United are unbeaten in their previous encounters with CSKA and Rapid, who last faced United in the group stage of the 1996-97 Champions League.

Telegraph.co.uk

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