Champions League 2015/16 profiles: Manchester United
The Champions League welcomes back Manchester United, who are 16/1 with Coral to win the tournament under manager Louis van Gaal, who won it with Ajax in 1994/95 as his young side beat AC Milan in the final.
Domestic League: Premier League
How they qualified: After finishing fourth last season in the league, they emerged from a play-off match against Club Brugge over two legs unscathed to go into the draw for the group stage.
Best Champions League era performance: Without a doubt, this could well be one of the best two minutes of football in the tournament’s history. Trailing 1-0 against Bayern Munich in the 1998/99 final, two injury time goals from substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer evoked unbelievable scenes at the Nou Camp as the Red Devils claimed a historic treble.
Coach: As touched upon above, Van Gaal has a fine pedigree in football and has won the competition before. Known for getting the best out of his players, it will be interesting to see whether he decides on different tactics in Europe to what he uses in the Premier League.
Ins and outs: It’s been another summer of transition at Old Trafford, with United moving a number of players on, including Javier Hernandez and Jonny Evans. No less than six players were bought in the summer, with Champions League and World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger the most high-profile, plus £36m teenager Anthony Martial from Monaco.
Key players: Undoubtedly skipper Wayne Rooney, who is vital to everything United do, however, if Michael Carrick can stay fit, he will also have a huge contribution, while goalkeeper David De Gea is also important, if he can resolve his future at the club.
Ones to watch: New signing Martial is a potentially very exciting player and has been hyped up by a number of well-informed personnel in the game. With explosive pace, he is certainly worth keeping an eye on, while fellow new boy Memphis Depay bagged a brace against Club Brugge and can be instrumental as the competition progresses.
Emerging talent: Brazilian youngster Andreas Pereira proved in pre-season that he is a rough diamond and in time can be a huge player for United. He could well be given a chance if the club qualify from their group with games to spare.
CL group and fixtures:
V PSV Eindhoven (Away), September 15th
V Wolfsburg (Home), September 30th
V CSKA Moscow (Away), October 21st
V CSKA Moscow (Home), November 3rd
V PSV Eindhoven (Home), November 25th
V Wolfsburg (Away), Decemeber 8th