Manchester United: Champions League opponents analysed

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Football News

On Thursday, Manchester United were drawn in Group A of the Champions League alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad.

Here is a look at what The Reds can expect from their opponents.

Shakhtar Donetsk

The Ukrainian Champions have never faced Manchester United in any competition.

Shakhtar performed well in Europe last year in which they reached the round of 16 before being knocked out by eventual finalists Borussia Dortmund.

Along the way they beat Chelsea on their home turn and even managed a draw in Turin against the mighty Juventus.

Their main threat will be provided by Douglas Costa, a player who United their selves have been linked with in the past.

A trip to the Ukraine will be tough for David Moyes’ side but the Red Devils should really be gaining at least four points from the two games.

Bayer Leverkusen

United will face an old enemy in Sami Hyypia when the two teams meet.

The ex-Liverpool defender became Leverkusen boss at the end of the 11/12 season after playing out his final two years there.

United can expect a very tough game against a team who should be very difficult to break down in Germany, but once again, at Old Trafford, they should prevail.

With Andre Schurrle joining Chelsea this summer, Leverkusen’s main threat will come through their powerful striker Stefan Kiessling, who topped the Bundesliga scoring charts last year with an impressive 25 goals.

Like Shahktar, Leverkusen could be a tricky side but once again United should be targeting at least four points.

Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad are the final club making up Group A.

The Spanish side are one of the fastest growing clubs in world football and have shocked many by qualifying for the Champions League this year.

Carlos Vela, who will be familiar to United fans from his spell in England with Arsenal, is likely to be their main threat.

The little Mexican has improved vastly since his time in the Premier League so United have every reason to be worried.

This will be the first and second time that the two teams meet in any competition and, despite their quality it may still be a bit too early for Sociedad to provide United with much of threat.

If The Reds are to gain six points from anyone then Sociedad are likely to be that team.

Ultimately it is no easy group but the English Champions should be expecting to finish top and progress through to the knockout stages without any real difficulty.

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Sami Hyypia
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United

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