English Premier League outfit Manchester United will offer the sternest test for Unai Emery’s men, in a group which offers a good chance of progression for the Spaniards. Most recently winners of the competition in 2008, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have the European know how and the depth of squad to put themselves forward as real contenders for the trophy, and qualification from the group should prove a mere formality for the Red Devils.
So, on the surface it would appear to be a three horse race for the runners-up spot behind the Englishmen, with Rangers being the big name of the two remaining rivals. The current Scottish Premier League Champions, led by former national team coach Walter Smith, disappointed in last year’s competition, finishing bottom of their group behind VfB Stuttgart, Sevilla and Unirea Urziceni, and as a consequence will be looking to better their showing this term. Off-field financial worries surrounding the Glasgow based club have led to the sales of key first team members. However Scottish international Kenny Miller and new signing James Beattie, their first cash signing in over two years since the acquisition of Maurice Edu, are capable of causing headaches for any defence on their day, and with Algerian Madjid Bougherra bossing the backline the cash strapped Scots will be no pushovers.
Group C is rounded off by Champions League new-comers Bursaspor. The Bursa based club, nicknamed the Green Crocodiles, defied the odds last season to claim top spot in the Turkish S