Manchester United will start their first Champions League campaign without legendary coach Alex Ferguson on Tuesday (September 17) when they face Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford.
Former Everton boss David Moyes, who has no previous Champions League group stage experience, will lead their campaign in a group also featuring Real Sociedad.
"I think all groups are tough, I think the Champions League has become different now, you could always pick out the winning teams, I think the last year or two it has proved to be more difficult," Moyes told reporters on Monday (September 16).
"You can see by the results of some of the group stages, it is a little bit more unpredictable that it has been in the past. So, I think it is a tough group, we have a leading team from Germany, a leading team from Spain, we have to go to Donetsk to play Shaktar who are experienced in the Champions League, so I see it as a pretty tough looking group."
Leverkusen's main threat will come from in-form striker Stefan Kiessling who was Bundesliga top scorer last season and scored twice in their 3-1 win against Wolfsburg at the weekend.
"Top goal scorer in the Bundesliga last year so he has to be given great respect," Moyes said of the striker. "I remember watching him a lot as manager of Everton and he is someone who has a great record of goal scoring both with his head and his feet, he has a smell for getting on the end of balls in the box, so it is someone we will need to watch very closely."
United won the Champions League twice during Ferguson's 26 year-reign at the club. Leverkusen's best finish was runners up to Real Madrid in 2002.
"Hey, I have been around in the Premier League a long time now for about 12-15 years, wherever it maybe, around the Leagues managing. I have always wanted to get to the Champions League, I did everything at Everton possible to try to make that happen, I have got another route into it just with with Manchester United and I am going to do everything possible to try and win it, that is the key," Moyes said reminding about his long experience as coach in England.
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