With this season’s Champions League over, attention can already be turned to the 2021/22 season.
Manchester United qualified for the Champions League as a result of finishing in the top four of the Premier League.
The first two pots of seedings have now been finalised, and Manchester United are in the second pot for when the draw is made later this year.
As you can see from the graphic below, United’s placing in pot two is not all that bad, considering the teams we avoid facing.
Six possible draws from Pot One
United cannot be drawn against an English team in the group stages, this means rather than eight possibilities from pot one, United’s opponents are one from six.
These are Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Inter Milan, Sporting, and Lille.
Of those teams Bayern Munich are the clear ones to avoid, while a reunion with Villarreal would be pretty uncomfortable. They went straight into pot one as Europa League winners.
Atletico won’t be a good team to face either, but any of Sporting or Lille would be great draws for United.
Pot Two may work out well
United’s presence in pot two means we avoid possible group stage draws against Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, and Juventus.
Pot Two looks more like it should be Pot One with the calibre of teams involved, although after failing to win domestic titles, Real, Barcelona, PSG and Juventus are all downgraded on merit.
Last season United were in the same pot and ended up getting a terrible draw, landing PSG from one and RB Leipzig from three.
There will be similar such scenarios available to United this year, if we land Bayern from pot one, and then the strongest teams from the third and fourth pots.
However, you would hope, that the bad luck last year evens out and United can land a more manageable group.
Last season United got off to a great start and threw it away, and so-called weaker teams are not always easy to break down. United lost away to pot four’s Istanbul Basaksehir last season, so nothing can be taken for granted.
When will the rest of the seedings be determined?
The seedings for pot three and four will be determined only after the qualifying rounds have been completed.
The group stage draw is likely to take place at the end of August, with the 2021/22 competition to begin in September.
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