Manchester United’s Champions League Qualifying Review

Manchester United’s Champions League Qualifying Review

Manchester United’s 4th place finish in this seasons Premier League means they must take part in a playoff round in order to secure Champions League football next season.

United could potentially find themselves in a sticky situation, as the playoffs have previously proven. As United are ranked 10th by UEFA, they will be the top seeded club in the final qualifying round, seeded along with Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Ajax, which means they will not face a trip to any of those clubs.

However, there are 10 teams that Manchester United could come up against in order to book a place in the last 32. These sides will provide no walk in the park for United, however, there are more preferable fixtures than others.
We’ll be taking a look at all the potential teams Manchester United could face, and how difficult they might make qualification.


The biggest threat to qualification. Monaco’s victory over Arsenal in the Champions League this season shows just why they can be a mean side to come up against. The French side finished 3rd in Ligue 1, and are armoured with various big names such as Toulalan, Moutinho, ex United stiker Berbatov and of course Radamel Falcao (in the unlikely event that he stays at Monaco).

Danger Rating – 8/10

Star Player – Joao Moutinho

Sporting Lisbon

It has been a rather disappointing season in the Primeira Liga for Sporting, who finished in third behind rivals Benfica and Porto. Although the side may not be as strong as they once were, they still pose a threat. In the four meetings between United and Sporting, The Red Devils have been victorious on 3 occasions.

Danger Rating – 6/10

Star Player – Andre Carrillo

CSKA Moscow

Despite finishing second in the league, the Moscow club have plenty of Champions League experience and would certainly be a huge fixture to avoid for United having seen the side claim four points from Manchester City during last season’s Champions League. English clubs often find themselves struggling against Russian clubs, United included.

Danger Rating – 7.5/10

Star Player – Ahmed Musa


An beating Napoli 4-2 last night, Lazio have been given the chance to taste Champions League football for the first time in nearly 10 years. They Italian club possess a lot of quality in their ranks, and United will probably want to avoid a trip to the Italian capital, after struggling in the past.

Danger Rating – 7.5/10

Star Player – Antonio Candreva

Club Brugge

Brugge finished top of the Belgian Pro League, but eventually finished runners-up following the playoffs that come after. The side haven’t been in with a shot at the Champions League since 2005, so will be determined to give their all. Their squad has a few notable names, but they shouldn’t pose much of a threat if United were to draw them.

Danger Rating – 5/10

Star Player – Lior Refaelov

Young Boys

Having never made the Champions League, the Swiss side shouldn’t really provide much of a scare to United. They have plenty of playoff experience, most notably against Spurs, where they saw themselves blow a 3-0 lead to eventually lose 6-3 on aggregate.

Danger Rating – 4/10

Star Player – Raphael Nuzzolo

Sparta Prague

Another club without a chance at the Champions League for 10 years, From their 20 matches against English opposition, The Czech side have won just three times, with 13 defeats. Should United draw them, it would be another fixture that would be unthinkable to lose.

Danger Rating – 4/10

Star Player – David Lafata


After finishing second in the league, Fenerbache have the chance to make an impact on the Champions League, like so many Turkish clubs have a habit of doing. The most notable of the two sides meeting saw Wayne Rooney score a hat-trick on his debut for United. A trip to Turkey probably wouldn’t bode well for United players and fans alike.

Danger Rating – 6.5/10

Star Player – Diego

Rapid Vienna

The lowest ranked club (121st) at this stage of the competition. Rapid Vienna finished second in the Austrian league. They pose the least amount of threat in terms of squad quality, and would probably be United’s favourite pick in terms of who they’d prefer to face. They do however, have a striker that scored 27 goals in 33 appearances this season, a young Slovenian by the name of Robert Beric. A player who has caught the eye of many clubs around Europe.

Danger Rating – 3.5/10

Star Player – Robert Beric


Panathinaikos are a side who are not yet officially confirmed as a Champions League playoff opponent. They sit eight points clear in second place, and look likely to stay there. United have a good record against the Greek side, having won three of the four clashes between the two sides. Their squad isn’t the best it has ever been, but they do poses one or two well known players in their ranks.

Danger Rating – 5/10

Star Player – Danijel Pranjic

The playoff draw is to be made on August 7th. If United do qualify for the group stage, they will be in pot 2 in the draw alongside Arsenal and Manchester City – the draw for the group stage is to be made on August 27th.