UEFA Champions League Draw, Group C Analysis: Manchester United To Face Benfica

Manchester United, Benfica, Basel, and Otelul Galati are the teams that will compete in Group C. It looks like a straightforward process for the former two, with Basel and Otelul unlikely to put up any serious opposition to United and Benfica's plans of making the group stages. The group will mostly come down to who will take the Europa League spot between Basel and Otelul, and who will take first place (and therefore avoid first-placed opposition) between United and Benfica.

Of course, there is a chance of an upset, but these rarely happen in the group stages. There's a clear gulf in class here, and either of United or Benfica missing out would be a colossal shock. If there's a theme to this group, it's probably wingers - Benfica and Basel have some wonderfully entertaining wingers in Nolito and Shaqiri, while United have a wide array of talented widemen. Interesting battles on the flanks ahoy....

Out before it starts

Otelul Galati, a team Sir Alex Ferguson probably hasn't even heard of, will be the hot favourites to sink like a stone here. The Romanian champions will be battling it out with Basel for that Europa League spot, and will do well to pick up more than a point throughout the whole group stage.

Sorry, Europa League for you

Basel, most likely - they should see off Otelul, but have little hope of competing with Benfica and United.

Advancing to the Knockout Stage are...

Manchester United will go through here, simply because they have the best team, and a squad which means they should be able to breeze past at a canter. 

Benfica looked to have been weakened considerably since their great team of recent years, featuring Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao had been mostly dismantled, but the Portuguese have kept it up with more signings and remain a formidable outfit. United will still be hot favourites for the group, but the games between the two should be interesting at least.

Player to watch

Other than the obvious line up of stars at United, and the talented Benfica squad, all eyes will be on a certain young Basel player, the superbly-named Xherdan Shaqiri. The tricky winger has been reportedly courted by a number of Europe's top clubs, and it will be interesting to see if he can provide any moments of magic in any of Basel's games.

Must-watch fixture

Benfica Vs. Manchester United - The Portuguese outfit are more than capable of putting up a fight against United on home soil, and it should promise to be a hugely entertaining game.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.