Potential Champions League Pot One opponents

Wednesday 14 June 2023 10:00

Manchester United are set to play Champions League football for the first time under Erik ten Hag following our third-placed finish in the Premier League in 2022/23.

The Reds amassed 75 points and have automatically qualified for the group stages, being placed in pot two, prior to the draw that will be held on 31 August.

Both pots three and four are yet to be fully determined due to the qualifying rounds that are set to take place, with six teams yet to be confirmed entry into the competition.

Below are all of the Reds' potential opponents from the first pot - bar Manchester City, who we cannot face as they are from the same country - as we take a look at who Ten Hag's men could play...

Key dates for 2023/24


There's already plenty to mark your calendars with for the upcoming campaign, ahead of United's return to action.


The Europa League specialists claimed their seventh title in that competition, following a dramatic penalty shootout win over Roma in Budapest, meaning they will, once again, play Champions League football next season. The Andalusians were eliminated at the group stages last term and subsequently moved into Europe's secondary competition after finishing behind both Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund. Of course, the Reds were beaten on Sevilla's road to the final via a 5-2 aggregate defeat back in April.


Xavi is set to take charge of his second Champions League campaign, after Barca finished a healthy 10 points clear at the top of La Liga. Likely to prove a tough test for any side, Barca have won Europe's elite club competition a whopping five times and will be hoping for a better European season this time around. Bayern Munich and Internazionale finished above them in the groups last autumn and they were eliminated 3-2 on aggregate by United after dropping into the Europa League play-offs.


Napoli have been placed into pot one after their runaway Serie A success in 2022/23, when they claimed the title for the first time in over 30 years. Eliminated by fellow Serie A outfit AC Milan in the quarter-finals last season, the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium outfit will also have a new face in the dugout after Luciano Spalletti announced he is taking a sabbatical from the game. Striker Victor Osimhen fired in 31 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions and could be one to watch.


Bayern Munich secured their pot-one status by winning the Bundesliga title on a dramatic final day and they will look to improve on a below-par display in the 2022/23 competition after being dumped out by eventual winners Manchester City in the quarter-finals. With former winner Thomas Tuchel now at the helm, it is expected the Germans will be back to their best and they should provide a stern test for any side in the group stages.

Which club from Pot One would you most like United to face in the Champions League group stage?poll

Which club from Pot One would you most like United to face in the Champions League group stage?


Although they have claimed the French title for the ninth time in the past 11 seasons, PSG have been Europe's nearly men over the past few seasons. They lost the 2020 final to Bayern Munich and have not gone past the round of 16 in the last two years. Changes in personnel are expected, with Lionel Messi already announcing he is to join MLS side Inter Miami after two seasons in the capitla. United last faced the Parisians in December 2020, as a Neymar brace secured a 3-1 win for the French team.


Having lost just three games all season in the league, Benfica qualify as Portuguese champions and could provide a tricky test. Scoring 82 goals on their way to the title, the two-time Champions League winners reached the quarter-finals for the second successive season and the Estadio da Luz can often prove a tough place to visit. The Eagles are currently managed by German Roger Schmidt.

Who has qualified for the Champions League?


United have joined 25 other sides in the hat, as it stands, for next season's group-stage draw.


The final team to make up pot one are Dutch champions Feyenoord, who romped to the title, finishing seven points clear of second-placed PSV Eindhoven. Managed by Arne Slot, they won their first crown since 2017 and will play in the group stages for the first time since the 2017/18 season. United last faced Feyenoord back in 2016 as goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and an own goal from Brad Jones helped us claim a Group A success in the Europa League at Old Trafford. Slot's decision to resist overtures from elsewhere to commit his future to the De Kuip club is a huge boost.