Man United ‘s Europa League win means they have qualified for the Champions League.
It’s time for celebrations.
But while Paul Pogba dabs himself senseless, some fans will already be thinking about next season, specifically the Champions League draw.
The Red Devils’ win in Stockholm means they will be in Pot 2 thanks to a significant boost in their coefficient.
Had they qualified via the more conventional method and finished in the top four they would have been placed in Pot 3, along with Spurs, Liverpool, Napoli and others.
But their spot in Pot 2 has proved extremely beneficial as it means they are guaranteed not to be drawn in a group with some of Europe’s best clubs.
The other teams in Pot 2 are Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, PSG, Borussia Dortmund, Man City, Porto and Sevilla (should they make it through the qualifying rounds).
Pot 1 is the Champions League’s promised land of course.
The seeded teams are made up of Europe’s best champions and so Man United will be drawn with one of: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Monaco and Spartak Moscow.
Man United can not be drawn with Chelsea because the two teams are in the same domestic league. Duh!
But here’s where it gets interesting.
Due the abundance of Spanish teams in Pot 2 (Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla), Man United have a greater chance of drawing La Liga champions Real Madrid than say Juventus or Bayern Munich.
Cristiano Ronaldo has a 20% chance of being drawn in the same group as his old club whereas the likelihood of Man United playing Bundesliga conquerors Bayern Munich is 14.3% and the chance of facing Serie A champions Juventus is just 12.5%.
Similarly, with both Spurs and Liverpool in Pot 3, Man United have a greater chance of drawing the remaining teams (Napoli, Basel, Dynamo Kiev, Ajax, Olympiakos and Anderlecht) compared to their Pot 2 brethren.
Pot 4 is the Champions League’s desolate wasteland, populated by qualifying chancers.
The teams most likely to feature in Pot 4 include: Roma, Celtic, Nice, Feyenoord and RB Leipzig.
Now for some fun.
Man United’s best possible group looks like this:
- Spartak Moscow
- Man United
- Viitorul Constanta
Man United’s worst possible group looks like this:
- Real Madrid
- Man United
- Sporting CP
Whatever the case fans will love seeing their club make on Europe’s main stage.
There’s nothing quite like the Champions League.