Manchester United's best/worst case scenarios from Europa League draw

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For Manchester United fans, there is plenty to be excited about this season. Entering the Europa League at the group stage for the first time, however, is unlikely to get too many supporters out of their seats.

Louis van Gaal's failure to guide the team into the top four last season ultimately cost the Dutchman his job and it has been left to Jose Mourinho to pick up the pieces.

Two wins from two has brought confidence back to Old Trafford on a domestic front and they are easily the heavy favourites to win Europe's second biggest prize this year.

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Obviously, there are bound to be a few big teams who drop into the competition from the Champions League after Christmas but if Mourinho's first few games in charge are anything to go by, the Red Devils will be expected to beat almost everyone they meet in the knockout stages.

But before they think about that, Mourinho's men must first negotiate the arduous group stages. With the draw set to take place on Friday, here are the best and worst case scenarios fans can look out for.

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Worst case scenario

Roma, Krasnodar and Panathinaikos

As United will be in Pot 1 they will targeting the top of the group, regardless of who they draw.

However, their task will certainly be made more challenging if they are drawn with Serie A giants Roma.

Usually when these two teams clash it is in a Champions League tie and the Italians are arguably the biggest club from Pot 2 so could be a tricky opponent.

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From Pot 3, a trip to Krasnodar in Russia on a Thursday night will be something Mourinho would prefer to avoid if possible.

In truth, United should have no one to fear from the final pot of potential teams. Nice would have possibly been a challenge had they kept hold of Hatem Ben Arfa and Nampalys Mendy, therefore Panathinaikos are probably the side to dodge.

Best possible draw

Sparta Prague, Austria Wien and Dundalk

There are a few potential banana skins in Pot 2 but Sparta Prague probably represent the least formidable challenge, although Mourinho won't complain if St-Etienne are drawn out either.

Austrian sides notoriously struggle in European competitions so Austria Wien would be a favourable team to come up against from the third pot.

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They finished third in last season's Austrian Bundesliga and on paper are arguably among the weakest teams to draw.

Finally, United fans will be pretty chuffed if they can secure a short away trip Dundalk in Ireland.

Dundalk supporters probably would equally pleased to draw Mourinho's team in what would be one of the biggest games in their 113-year history.

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Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Europa League
Premier League
Jose Mourinho

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