Man Utd's Champions League group should be a goal-fest but given our recent history we cannot underestimate rivals

MANCHESTER UNITED will be looking for better success in the Champions League this season following their shock exit in the group stages last time around.

With the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid in the same pot as the Red Devils, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have avoided a few of the biggest teams in Europe.

Given the current strengths and weaknesses that lie within the manager and the squad, it would not be a huge surprise to see the side perform well in Europe and inconsistently in the league.

Here, SunSport takes a look at who the Premier League giants have been drawn with.


United and Villarreal got to know each other quite well in the Europa League final a few months ago, which the Spanish side won on penalties.

Prior to the final, the two club's record couldn't be separated.

All four of their previous fixture have ended in goalless draws, albeit the last time clubs met was in the 2008/09 campaign.


The Yellow Submarines will prove to be a painful side once again, knowing that Solskjaer and his men have been experiencing huge difficulties in breaking down opposition that sit deep in their own half.

In addition, Emery's men use the counter-attack to maximum effect through the likes of Alberto Moreno, new signing Arnaut Danjuma and forward Gerard Moreno.

But the Red Devils will be hoping to exact revenge on Villarreal from the Europa League upset.

Predictions: Home: Man Utd 1 Villarreal 1. Away: Villarreal 1 Man Utd 3.


Known for their high-intensity football and attacking style of play, Atalanta are regarded as one of the most exciting clubs to watch in Europe.

Giano Gasperini’s team finished in third place in style last season, scoring 90 goals along the way, which was more than any other Serie A side's tally.

This proved that they can create chances whilst dominating possession or on the counter.

Atalanta will look to mark United high up the pitch, preventing them from playing out from the back and leading to key defensive mistakes.

The Italians deserve all the plaudits and appreciation they have been receiving over the last couple of years, with them featuring in the elite European competition for three years in a row.

The team play effectively and consistently due to the immaculate system set by Gasperini, and the likes of Ruslan Malinovskiy, Luis Muriel and Josip Ilicic will be the crucial players to watch out for.

The two group stage fixtures will be breath-taking, end-to-end, and thrilling spectacle, likely to produce an abundance of goals.

Predictions: Home: Man Utd 3 Atalanta 2. Away: Atalanta 2 Man Utd 2.

Young Boys

United's third and final opponent are BSC Young Boys, who will enter the group stages with zero expectations.

They'll be looking to enjoy the moment of being in the competition, and make themselves proud through their hard work.

The Red Devils faced the Swiss side during the 2018/19 season, where they beat them 3-0 away from home and 1-0 at Old Trafford.

United could find themselves in trouble if they fail to take Young Boys seriously in their matches and end up dropping costly points.

Solskjaer’s team should have learnt their lesson from playing Istanbul Basaksehir and RB Leipzig last season, and will be looking to do everything to prevent that from happening again.

Predictions: Home: Man Utd 2 Young Boys 0. Away: Young Boys 1 Man Utd 3.


Manchester United have found themselves in a straightforward group, where they have avoided the top-tier teams in the early stages.

This will allow them to focus on stamping their mark against sides who are not expected to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

However, given the side’s history in the Champions League in recent years, underestimating any of their opponents will be at their own peril.


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