Friday afternoon question: Should Villarreal draw worry United?
Last time Manchester United were drawn in the same Champions League group with Villarreal in the 2005-06 season, most fans and pundits predicted a stroll into the last 16 of the competition with Lille and Benfica also looking as little more than stepping stones for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.
United finished bottom of the group and bowed out of Europe before the winter break after a dreadful run including a pair of 0-0 draws with Villarreal while the Spanish side reached the semi-finals in their Champions League debut.
Should the English and European champions be worried that history might repeat itself after a third barren stalemate with Villarreal in this season’s Group E opener at Old Trafford on Wednesday?
Ferguson, who seemed unaffected by a largely lacklustre perfromance in his post-match comments, believes it was a mere glitch ahead of matches with Danish rivals Aalborg and familiar foes Celtic.
But United’s patchy start to the season, in which they have won only one match, suggests the early stages of their European title defence might turn out to be anything but a walk in the park. The Premier League also looks far from easy with a trip to Chelsea up next on Sunday.
Give us your thoughts.