Pressure added on Manchester United's Champions League bid after Ronaldo arrival

The question on everyone's lips, can United go all the way?

Old Trafford entrance [Flickr/nyaa_birdies_perch]

Go back two or three weeks and Manchester United were given an outside chance of winning the Champions League. This was before the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Now, while still not favourites to win the trophy, they are shorter in the betting world and being considered by many more people.

Ronaldo has won the Champions League five times, including once with Manchester United during his first spell at the club.

At the start of the group stage on September 14, the latest football odds have Manchester United at 12/1 to win the Champions League. A fast start, from both the team and Ronaldo, would see those odds shorten.

To further heighten the expectations on United, the group they have been placed in is one they can certainly win. As the group progresses, many football predictions will have United coming out of this as group winners and heading into the knockout phase.

Swiss side Young Boys and Italians Atalanta are in the group, with the final team being Villarreal, a team that United have a recent connection with, although it is a connection that fans will want to forget. Manchester United were beaten on penalties in the final of the Europa League last season, and it was Villarreal who won that game and denied them a trophy.

Winning the group stage will be the most important part of their initial Champions League campaign but getting revenge on Villarreal for that defeat will certainly be second on the list.

The team this year is better and should fancy their chances of winning both games against Villarreal, and it wouldn't be the biggest surprise in the world to see United go unbeaten through all six games.

The question on everyone's lips, can United go all the way?

Being one of the best teams in the Premier League certainly gives them a chance to do so, based on what happened last year.

The league continues to thrive, while other big leagues in Europe are standing still, and possibly going backwards.

As we saw in last season's Champions League final won by Chelsea, which featured two English clubs, football in the country is riding the crest of a wave right now.

Looking back at that, anyone who is good enough to finish inside the top four in the Premier League will fancy their chances of Champions League success.

For the next two years, while Ronaldo is definitely at the club, United need to bring home at least one piece of silverware, something they have been working towards.

This could be the Champions League, and in Ronaldo they have a player who knows what it takes to win this great competition, as we have seen from him in the past.

A strong start would see their odds to win the trophy contract, and assuming they move into the knockout phase, this team has the ability to beat anyone, and looks full of match winners.

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