Champions League: Manchester United Handed Easy Draw But Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea Could Struggle

José Mourinho has overseen a dominant start to the season for Manchester United in the Premier League.

Mourinho can be pretty happy about United's prospects for the Champions League, too. In the draw in Nyon, Switzerland, on Thursday evening, United drew Benfica, the Portuguese champions, CSKA Moscow and Basel.

Benfica, as is customary, lost several of its best players this summer. United should be too strong for Basel across both legs, although a trip to Moscow on September 27 presents some difficulty. United has a Premier League game three days later, at home against Crystal Palace.

Tottenham Hotspur was handed undoubtedly the hardest draw of the five English clubs in the competition. Mauricio Pochettino's team looks the third-strongest in its group, behind Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. APOEL Nicosia should provide some relief, although the Cypriots reached the Champions League quarterfinals in 2011-12, where they were beaten 8-2 on aggregate by Real.

Chelsea should make it through Group C, but Antonio Conte's team has the potential to slip up, perhaps in the away tie against Eusebio Di Francesco's dangerous A.S. Roma side. Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid is competing under a transfer ban and has begun the new La Liga campaign slowly. Chelsea will also have to travel to Qarabag. The Azerbaijanis are competing in the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Manchester City is in Group F, with Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli and Feyenoord. Napoli can present a dizzying array of attacking talents, and no team will relish a visit to a rocking Stadio San Paolo. Liverpool should finish at least as runners-up in Group E behind Sevilla, provided Jürgen Klopp's team can avoid calamitous defensive mistakes. Liverpool's pace and precision in attack, at least, should be more than enough to see off Spartak Moscow and Maribor.