Meta: After finishing the Premier League in third place, here are the possible teams in pot two that Manchester United could face in the Champions League group stage.
Manchester United had a relatively good end to the 2022/23 English Premier League campaign, finishing in third place behind second-place Arsenal and winners Manchester City.
The Red Devils also made it to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League, losing 5-2 on aggregate over two legs against Spanish side Sevilla. Third place in the Premier League ensured them a spot in this year’s UEFA Champions League.
Let’s dive straight in to discover exactly which teams Man United might face after finding themselves in pot 2 of 4 in the group stage draw.
Who might Man United face in the Champions League group stage section?
Manchester United are in pot 2 of the Champions League draw along with the following European teams:
- Real Madrid
- Inter Milan
- Borussia Dortmund
- RB Leipzig
- FC Porto
Manchester City have found themselves in pot 2, and Newcastle United, who finished in fourth in the Premier League, are in pot 4. If an English team other than these four won the Europa League, a fifth English club would have also qualified for the Champions League.
Did any Polish teams qualify for the Champions League?
Raków Częstochowa won the 2022/23 Ekstraklasa (also known as PKO Ekstraklasa due to sponsorship reasons) – the top tier of men’s professional football in Poland. This means they made it to the qualifying stage of the Liga Mistrzów.
They beat Qarabağ 3-2 in their first match of the second qualifying round. They must beat them in the second leg on August 2nd to ensure a spot in the third qualifying round. The first legs for this round will be played on August 8th and 9th.
Only if they beat whoever they face in the third qualifying round, therefore the winners of match 8 (Aris Limassol or BATE Borisov), will they make it to the next round, where they will find themselves in the initial pot draw stage for the first round of the Champions League tournament.
In other words, there are still a few more qualifying games to go before we can determine whether a Polish team will be playing in the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League.
Which team can will the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League?
It’s still far too early to tell you, and none of the major online sports betting sites have released any odds for the upcoming 2023/24 UEFA Champions League campaign.
However, with current form in pre-season matches, along with previous results and plenty of other useful data and analytics, we can safely say that EPL side Manchester City are the clear odds-on favourite team to win this year’s Champions League (the current reigning champions).
You might be looking at fractional odds of around 2/1, which is 3.00 in decimal odds, giving them a 33.33% implied probability rate. Let’s take a quick look at several other estimated odds:
- Bayern Munich – 7/1 (8.00), meaning a 12.50% implied probability rate
- Real Madrid – 9/1 (10.00), meaning a 10.00% implied probability rate
- Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) – 10/1 (11.00), meaning a 9.10% implied probability rate
- Barcelona – 12/1 (13.00), meaning a 7.70% implied probability rate
For Arsenal and Manchester United, you will likely be looking at average odds of around 14/1 (15.00), with a 6.70% implied probability rate.
When does the UEFA Champions League group stage draw take place?
The UEFA Champions League group stage draw is officially scheduled to take place on Thursday, August 31st. The first group stage matches will then take place on September 19th/20th, October 3rd/4th and 24th/25th, November 7th/8th and 28th/29th, and December 12th/13th.
You then have to wait until February 24 for the knockout stages. The quarter-finals will take place in April. The semi-finals will be in late April/early May, and the final will take place next year on June 1st.