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Group A: Man Utd

Manager:
David Moyes


Did you know?
Have won the most Champions League away games


How They Qualified:
Premier League champions


Story So Far

This is of course life after Sir Alex Ferguson. Manchester United will be beginning a UEFA Champions League campaign without the Scot for the first time in their history. The pressure is consequently on Ferguson's successor, David Moyes, to deliver in Europe, which is the benchmark by which all great clubs are judged. A disappointing summer transfer window has also put Moyes under scrutiny, although the signing of Marouane Fellaini was a boost.

Can They Be Confident?

United look like the favourites for the group after being drawn with Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad in Group A. United also have fine European pedigree after reaching three finals, winning one, since 2008 upon which they can rely. But as they aim to improve on last season's last 16 exit at the hands of Real Madrid, there is an element of uncertainty regarding how they will perform in the Champions League under group-stage debutant Moyes.

 Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie

The Dutchman is considered a major factor in United winning the Premier League and his goals will also be crucial in Europe.

 Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney

Having remained at Old Trafford during the summer transfer window, United will need the England international to be fully focused.

 David de Gea

David de Gea

Came in for criticism when he first joined United but has since become a reliable goalkeeper and is building experience.

Who will they face?

  • #
    • Bayer Leverkusen

      Manager Sami Hyypia will be keen to cause Manchester United plenty of problems after being a Liverpool legend in his playing days.

    • Strengths

      Finished just one point behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga last season and not to be underestimated.

    • Weaknesses

      A lack of experience at the top level in the Champions League may see them struggle against the big teams.

  • #
    • Shakhtar Donetsk

      The Ukrainian title holders are regular dark horses in Europe and are appearing in the Champions League group stages for the ninth time in their history.

    • Strengths

      Creative and attack minded when going forward, Mircea Lucescu's side will always pose a goal threat to opponents who will need to be well organised in defence.

    • Weaknesses

      Inconsistent away from home and losing the likes of Fernandinho and Willian means they might not be the force they were in previous seasons.

  • #
    • Real Sociedad

      After a turbulent decade, their return to the Champions League following a long absence is a great story and they will be full of motivation.

    • Strengths

      Jagoba Arrasate's Spanish side like to play a passing game but are also not afraid to shoot from long range in order to avoid over playing.

    • Weaknesses

      Their non-aggressive make-up may mean they are a little bit lightweight against some of Europe's more experienced, powerhouse clubs.

Memory Lane

Finest Hours

Man United 2 Bayern 1 - May, 1999 - That night in Barcelona. Late, late goals from substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer famously snatched a dramatic final win over Bayern Munich.

Man United 1 Chelsea 1 (United in on pens) - May, 2008 - Following a draw after extra-time, Edwin van der Sar saved Nicolas Anelka's penalty in the rain in Moscow to earn another European Cup.

Juventus 2 Man United 3 - April, 1999 - Having fallen two goals behind on the night in this semi-final second leg in Italy, goals from Roy Keane, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole secured a memorable turnaround.

Previous Record

  • 2012/13: Last 16
  • 2011/12: Group stages
  • 2010/11: Final
  • 2009/10: Quarter-finals
  • 2008/09: Final

Facts And Figures

  • 4

    Wayne Rooney was involved in more Euro goals than any other Man U player in 2012/13
  • 27

    Rooney has scored more goals in the Champions League than any other English player
  • 3

    Champions League games in a row which Man United have won versus Ukrainians
  • 1

    Number of games Man United have won in their last eight matches in Spain
  • 12

    Number of Europa League games David Moyes won as Everton manager