Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal and United will learn their play-off opponent on Friday Getty

Manchester United are one step away from re-joining Europe's elite in the Champions League. But in order to get there they will face a final test against Club Brugge, CSKA Moscow, Lazio, Monaco or Rapid Vienna in a two-leg play-off tie in order to reach the group stages of Europe's premier competition.

Louis van Gaal's side are top seeds ahead of Friday's (7 August) draw at Uefa's headquarters in Nyon and will therefore be steered clear of Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Sporting Lisbon. Serie A giants Lazio, who reached the quarter-final stages of the competition in 2000, pose the biggest threat to United's passage into the group stages after their third place finish in Serie A last term.

Arsenal found out just how problematic a tie against Monaco can be last season, when the Ligue 1 side eliminated them from the competition at the round of 16 stage last February. Leonardo Jardim's were eventually eliminated by eventual runners up Juventus.

CSKA Moscow meanwhile enjoyed success against opposition from Manchester last season, beating Manuel Pellegrini's City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium and holding them to a 2-2 draw in Russia.

A draw with Club Brugge, who finished as runners up in 1978, would provide United with the shortest away trip, but Rapid Vienna could present the most favourable tie, although the Austrians did dismiss four-time champions Ajax in the third round qualifying stage on Wednesday (5 August).

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic are also in the playoff draw following their 1-0 aggregate victory over Kazakh outfit FK Qarabag. Ronny Delia's side also enter Friday's draw as a seeded team and are in line to face Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Partizan Belgrade, Malmo, Astana or. Skenderbeu.