Why United weren’t in the Conti Cup group-stage draw

Tuesday 01 August 2023 16:14

Manchester United were not one of the 21 clubs involved in the 2023/24 Continental League Cup group-stage draw on Tuesday morning, due to our upcoming participation in this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Marc Skinner’s side finished as WSL runners-up in 2022/23, earning a spot in the second round of the European tournament and therefore a provisional bye into the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

Victory over the two legs in our first-ever Women's Champions League tie would mean the Reds entering the domestic competition at the last-eight stage, while defeat would see us added into the group phase that has been drawn today.
Since the 2021/22 season, WSL clubs competing in the Champions League group stage have been exempt from the corresponding round of the Conti Cup.

The Reds can progress to that phase of the European competition by winning our two-legged second-round tie in October, which would see us take advantage of our League Cup bye.

A loss on aggregate however would see us go into the northern section of the domestic tournament, in Group B, alongside Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Arsenal, having finished third in last season’s WSL, have also been awarded with a provisional bye into the Conti Cup quarter-finals, as they prepare to start their Champions League campaign in round one.

As reigning league champions, Chelsea will begin their European endeavours in the group stage, meaning they will definitely be one of the final eight teams challenging for the League Cup in 2023/24.

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In the upcoming term, the Conti Cup’s group phase will run from 11/12 October 2023 to 24/25 January 2024, with the quarter-finals scheduled for 7/8 February 2024.

United’s second-round clash in the Champions League will take place over 10/11 and 18/19 October, and we’ll find out who our inaugural European opponents are when the draw is made on 15 September.