UEFA Champions League draw
Thursday, 20 December 2013
11:30 CET, Nyon

United's possible opponents:
AC Milan, Celtic, Porto, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia
19/12/2012 08:44, Report by Steve Bartram
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Who next for Reds in Europe?

Ahead of Thursday's UEFA Champions League second round draw, ManUtd.com runs the rule over each of the Reds' six potential opponents...

AC Milan
Massimo Allegri's side have been in unpredictable form all term. Without a Champions League win at San Siro since last February, the Rossoneri relied on their away form to qualify in Malaga's slipstream. While weakened by the summer sales of Silva and Ibrahimovic, capricious talents like Stephan El Shaarawy and Kevin Prince Boateng mean the Italian heavyweights can still pack a punch.

Tipped to prop up a group containing Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow, Neil Lennon's Hoops have arguably been this season's surprise package in Europe. Their form at Celtic Park remains imposing, but the ability to cede possession yet still carry menace away from home has been the SPL side's biggest step forward. A growing force.

United can draw upon mixed memories of facing the Portuguese champions, most recently in 2009's Ronaldo-inspired quarter final triumph. Though Hulk's departure to Zenit stripped Porto of their main asset, Vitor Pereira's side still has enough South American swagger to pose problems - and rumoured Reds target James Rodriguez is developing into a formidable winger.

Real Madrid
Though the most imposing opponent United could face, Jose Mourinho's side haven't matched last term's sparkling form in winning La Liga and reaching the Champions League semi-finals. Studded with talent, Real still found themselves outshone in the group stages by Borussia Dortmund, whose high-octane pressing game yielded four points and suggested how to nullify the Spanish giants.

Shakhtar Donetsk
This year's dark horses, Shakhtar are also the only potential opponent for whom United can't draw on past experiences. The Ukrainians continue to benefit from the know-how of veteran coach Mircea Lucescu, who has flooded his side with Brazilian flair in the right areas, with Willian, Fernandinho and Luiz Adriano on-song through the group stages. One to avoid.

Housing one of the Champions League's leading marksmen - Roberto Soldado - Valencia are seemingly now coming to terms with the quickfire departures of Messrs Villa, Silva and Mata. Nevertheless, Los Che benefited from a straightforward group in which Lille lay down and BATE Borisov ran out

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