Manchester United handed Champions League play-off draw boost

Rapid Vienna knocked Ajax out of the Champions League at the third-qualifying round stage on Tuesday night, and in doing so handed Manchester United a boost to their own European hopes.
The Austrian outfit won 3-2 at the Amsterdam ArenA to come out on top in a two-legged epic, triumphing with a 5-2 aggregate scoreline.
And that is good news for United, with Rapid’s win weakening the list of potential opponents they could be paired with in Friday’s play-off round draw.

Louis van Gaal will be pleased to see Sporting Lisbon removed as one of his potential draw options
Louis van Gaal will be pleased to see Sporting Lisbon removed as one of his potential draw options
The
Barclays Premier League club return to Europe’s premier competition
later this month and will be seeded in the ‘league route’ side of the
draw alongside Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen.
Ajax
would have made it into the seeded pot too if they had gone through,
but Rapid’s lower UEFA co-efficient score means Sporting Lisbon will be
in the group of teams United cannot face instead. Rapid were considered
the weakest team left in this side of the draw.

Shakhtar
Donetsk will be the final seeded side if they triumph over Fenerbahce
on Wednesday night. CSKA Moscow will take their place if they get
through and the Ukrainians lose out.
Provided
Wednesday night’s games are won by the higher seeded sides, United’s
list of possible opponents will be: CSKA Moscow, Lazio, Club Brugge,
Monaco and Rapid Vienna.
United's name will be back among the teams in the Champions League draw on Friday after a year away

United’s name will be back among the teams in the Champions League draw on Friday after a year away
Van Gaal cannot be drawn with top dogs Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen or Sporting due to the seeding

Van Gaal cannot be drawn with top dogs Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen or Sporting due to the seeding
In
Tuesday night’s other qualifying games, APOEL Nicosia advanced with a
2-1 aggregate win over Midtjylland, Dinamo Zagreb got past Molde on away
goals in a 4-4 draw and Monaco cemented their supremacy over Young Boys
by winning 4-0 for a 7-1 aggregate win.

MANCHESTER UNITED’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAY-OFF DRAW OPTIONS 

Seeded: Manchester United (ranked 10th by UEFA), Valencia (12th), Bayer Leverkusen (16th), Sporting Lisbon (33rd).
Unseeded: Lazio (40th)***, Monaco (68th), Rapid Vienna (121st).
Wednesday’s games: Sparta Prague (72nd) vs CSKA Moscow (34th)** after first leg, 
Club Brugge (51st) vs Panathinaikos (100th) – 2-1 after first leg,
Shakhtar Donetsk (18th)* vs Fenerbahce (75th) – 0-0 after first leg.
*If Shakhtar Donetsk win, they will be seeded.
**If they Shakhtar lose, CSKA Moscow will be seeded provided they win.
***Should both Shakhtar and CSKA lose, Lazio will be seeded.

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