Manchester United safely navigated their way into the knockout rounds of the Europa League after victory over Zorya Luhansk on Thursday (8 December).

After losing twice in their group campaign away to Feyenoord and Fenerbahce, Jose Mourinho's side passed a tricky test in freezing conditions in Odessa, with Herikh Mkhitaryan scoring a sublime solo effort before Zlatan Ibrahimovic added a late second to seal a 2-0 win.

Europa League trophy
United's best route to next season's Champions League may be via success in the Europa League. Getty

The draw for the last 32 stage takes place in Nyon on Monday. But those two defeats on the road mean United enter it as an unseeded side, meaning they can meet any of the Europa League group winners in the first knock-out round, with the exception of Group A winners Fenerbahce.

The four third-place finishers with the best records in the Champions League also represent dangerous options, with the exception of Tottenham Hotspur. Mauricio Pochettino's side aren't an option given Uefa rules blocking clubs from the same country being paired together at this stage of the competition.

Victory over Zorya was United's first win on the road in Europe since November 2013, not including qualifiers. That form will have to further improve given some of the sterner tests that could lie in wait for them. IBTimes UK considers some of the best and worst options for Jose Mourinho and in side in the next round.

Manchester United's possible opponents: APOEL, Saint-Etienne, Zenit St Petersburg, Roma, Athletic Bilbao or Genk, Ajax, Shakhtar Donetsk, Schalke, Fiorentina, Sparta Prague, Osmanlispor, Lyon, Copenhagen, Besiktas

Best case scenario? APOEL

The Cypriots finished top of group B ahead of Olympiakos, Young Boys and Astana with an identical record to United, having won four and lost two. If Mourinho is keen to keep travelling to a minimum, Ajax or Saint-Etienne would be his best options.

Worst case scenario? Roma

If United are serious about winning this competition, they shouldn't be fearing any club in this draw. From the sides dropping down from the Champions League, Lyon pose the biggest threat, having fought commendably in a Champions League group featuring Juventus and Sevilla. United have history with Roma in Europe, most of it consisting of good memories having enjoyed that famous 7-1 win over the Giallorossi at Old Trafford nine years ago. Luciano Spalletti was the man sat in the dugout that night and he is back in the Italian capital for his second spell at the club. Sat second in Serie A, they would appear to be the ones to avoid.