Jose Mourinho
Does Mourinho fancy the Europa League? Getty Images

Manchester United will feature in the group stages of the Europa League for the first time in the club's history this season and will learn their opponent's in Friday's (26 August) draw.

A fifth place finish under Louis van Gaal last season ensured they missed out on the Champions League for the second time in three years. It remains to be seen how Jose Mourinho, a manager who has previously been sceptical of Europe's second tier competition, will approach the campaign. After all, away days in Azerbaijan may not fall quite into his plans for the club's campaign.

United join 47 other teams in the hat for tomorrow's draw with 12 groups of four to be drawn in Monaco.

United's Uefa coefficient means they will be placed in Pot 1, alongside the likes of Schalke, Athletic Bilbao, Inter Milan and Fiorentina. That should ensure they avoid the most dangerous sides in the competition,

Pot 1: Schalke, Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Athletic Bilbao, Olympiakos, Villarreal, Ajax, Inter Milan, Fiorentina, Anderlecht, Viktoria Plzen.

Pot 2: AZ Alkmaar, Braga, Red Bull Salzburg, AS Roma, Fenerbahce, Sparta Prague, PAOK, Steaua Bucharest, Genk, APOEL, Standard Liege, Saint-Etienne.

Pot 3: Gent, Young Boys, Krasnodar, Rapid Vienna, Slovan Liberec, Celta Vigo, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Feyenoord, Austria Vienna, Mainz, FC Zurich, Southampton.

Pot 4: Panathanaikos, Sassuolo, FK Qarabag, FK Astana, Nice, Zorya Luhansk, Astra Giugiu, Konyaspor, Osmanlispor, FK Qabala, Hapoel Beer-Sheva, Dundalk.

Best possible scenario for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United? Saint-Etienne, FC Zurich and Dundalk would represent the lowest ranked opponents for United across the three pots. Trips across the channel and the Irish Sea aren't bad options, either.

And the worst? AS Roma are the side to avoid from Pot 2 but United will be looking to avoid travelling long distances for the most part. A 2,376 mile trip to Pot 3's Krasnodar followed by a midweek jaunt to FK Qabala or FK Qarabag in Azerbaijan is a potentially hellish campaign.