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The former Old Trafford boss has warned his successor that the Premier League champion has been handed one of its toughest European challenges this season.

David Moyes says that Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United has been handed one of its toughest Champions League draws ever.

Moyes was appointed Old Trafford boss after Ferguson’s 26-year reign ended last season and will make his bow in Europe’s elite club competition against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday. United will also face Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad in Group A, and Moyes says his predecessor has warned him about the difficult challenge ahead.

"After the draw, I phoned Sir Alex to talk about it, and he said he thinks it’s one of the hardest draws United have ever had in the Champions League," Moyes said. "If that’s coming from him, then it must be tough.

"There are some great squads, but I do think that on any given day we would fancy our chances. We hope to get those opportunities to prove that we are good enough to beat them.

"I’ve got to make sure we’re in the Champions League this year, next year and the years after, and competing to try to win it."

Ferguson was in the stands for the first time since stepping down from his post during United’s 2-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.