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Manchester United: Champions League preview

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The 59th Champions League competition is set to get underway on Tuesday, with Groups A to D preparing for their debut matches of this season's tournament.

Both the red and blue halves of Manchester are present in these four groups and both will be determined to show success under new management this term.

Here we look at David Moyes' debut season in the Champions League and the tough opposition he faces as he looks to make his mark...

Manchester United

United have been drawn in one of their toughest groups in years and reflects the difficult challenge Moyes faces in his first season at Old Trafford.

Last year's exit at the hands of Real Madrid will be leaving them hungry for more success this time, but it won't be a walk in the park for Van Persie & Co.

The Group

Drawn against Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad, United are far from out of it but know they face a difficult task.

Fernandinho, Willian and Mkhitaryan may have all been sold by Shakhtar in the summer, but the capital club still boast a tough side and the Donbass Arena is a difficult place to venture.

Bayer Leverkusen have proved to be 'the best of the rest' outside of the Bundesliga duopoly in finishing third and Real Sociedad could prove to be proverbial 'dark horses' after knocking out Lyon in the play-off.

The Game

Man United kick off their campaign against Bayer Leverkusen of Germany, led by a man who is no stranger to the Red Devils.

Sami Hyypia clashed with United on various occasions as a Liverpool player and is now looking to get the better of them from the touchline.

Leverkusen ran Dortmund incredibly close for second spot last season and Hyypia has invested wisely in the transfer market to further solidify a defence which was second only to Bayern's in the 2012/13 campaign.

They're no pushovers and United would be wrong to underestimate them.

The Players

Leverkusen have added foreign talent to their ranks, with Konstantinos Stafylidis, Giulio Donati and Emir Spahic all adding to the back line.

Talented Korean forward Heung-Min Son impressed at Hamburg last season and did enough to seal a relatively big-money move, so he'll be out to prove himself on the European stage.

However, it is the home-grown talent that continues to make Leverkusen tick, with man-mountain and captain Simon Rolfes shielding the back line.

Sidney Sam is also the club's biggest goal threat, with four goals in the first five matches of this year's Bundesliga campaign.

The Result

A difficult one to call; Hyypia spent his playing career as a highly-regarded defender and is likely to instil elements of that very defensive grit into his side as he looks to come away from Old Trafford with something.

Opportunities on the break could cause problems for United but their experienced defence shouldn't be greatly troubled, while the firepower at Moyes' disposal should be enough to break through Leverkusen's defensive barrier.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Disagree with my prediction? Leave a comment below and tell me who you think will come out on top...

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Topics:
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Football

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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