David Moyes could find himself in a strong position in Europe come the end of the season.
Football is a funny old game. And you could argue it is especially so in the Champions League.
When Chelsea were struggling under Andre Villas-Boas and duly sacked the Portuguese boss to replace him with assistant Roberto Di Matteo, for instance, the possibility of silverware looked completely forlorn. And yet, not only did the Blues go on to win the FA Cup, they only went and won Europe's top prize too...
Although little is clear about the outcome of the current campaign yet, we may just see a similar theme develop in this season's instalment of the Champions League.
Indeed, Manchester United - knocked out of both cups in England and seventh in the Premier League - have enjoyed a largely successful campaign in Europe this year. It is Moyes' first Champions League adventure as a manager - but he has not shied away from the task
In a group containing Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad, United finished top with 14 points - unbeaten and with four wins in six to their name. Moyes and co. were obviously spared the Bayern Munichs and Barcelonas of this world in their group-stage draw, though their finish was still impressive if you consider their failure to beat the likes of Fulham, West Brom and Newcastle United in the Premier League.
Now they face a last-16 tie with Olympiakos over two legs, with a great chance of progressing to the quarter-finals. And what of Moyes' English rivals?
Manchester City and Arsenal both face European elimination after 2-0 defeats in the first legs of their last-16 ties, while Jose Mourinho has to navigate a tricky tie with Galatasaray. At worst, Man United are likely to be one of only two Premier League sides left in the Champions League - and another favourable draw could narrow that down even further.
But with the way Moyes' men have been playing in Europe, it would not be unreasonable to suggest they might even stand a chance against a more reputable side, with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Adnan Januzaj all capable of producing magic when fully fit and ready.
It's by no means a certainty... but stranger things have happened. And football is a funny old game, after all.
How far can Manchester United go in the Champions League this season?
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