The eight Champions League groups have been completed, all sixteen qualifiers for the knock out stage have been identified – and Manchester United now have a much better idea of who may be their next opponent in February. Nine clubs will definitely be avoided because they are either fellow Group Winners, Premier League clubs who cannot meet each other and Valencia who were in the same group as United in the first round. The clubs that United CANNOT possibly meet are Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Schalke 04, Bayern Munich, Shakhtar Donetsk, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal
An army of world wide Manchester United fans only have a matter of hours to wait before discovering what the European Champions League has in store for them. With the lone exception of 1995-96 when the runner up in the previous season’s domestic league did not have an automatic right to qualify as they do these days, it will be the nineteenth consecutive year in which United has been in the draw of Europe’s most prestigious tournament – a record that no other Premier League club can claim.
A close look at the still developing career of Manchester United goal scoring sensation Wayne Rooney suggests that he may be well advised to forget the riches which could be awaiting him from the likes of Real Madrid and stick to the green, green grass of home. The emphasis is of course on the word ‘MAY’ because as a wise man once pointed out “Statistics are what enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions” Those statistics can nevertheless be worth having a look at because they can sometimes reveal facts which had not been previously considered.