Why Manchester City Can Win The Champions League This Season
A high-profile investment in a football club in the modern era is almost always done with the dream of winning the Holy Grail i.e the UEFA Champions League. Sheikh Mansour and his ADUG group are no different either and they have never made it a secret that their dream was always to win the competition ever since their takeover of Manchester City.
The Arabian billionaires have appointed Pep Guardiola to turn their dream into a reality after both Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini had failed to do it for them. The former Barcelona boss has now set up an excellent team and after their recent form where they beat Liverpool 5-0, thumped Feyenoord 4-0 at the De Kuip, and thrashed Watford 6-0, City fans are daring to dream again.
The English club, have however a long road to go and it certainly won’t be as easy as it was against the Dutch team. They must overcome teams of the calibre of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus to lift the coveted trophy and although Guardiola’s squad looks really good in the opening few weeks, they will be tested to the limit in those stages.
City’s best performance in the Champions League came when they made it to the semi-finals in the 2015/16 season while last season they crashed out to a young and exuberant AS Monaco side on away goals. The good thing is, most of the players who featured in that game have been either sold off or have firmly been relegated to the bench, and a host of new exciting and expensive talent have replaced them. Their Gaffer has invested heavily, and it would be fair to say that the money has been spent wisely.
That move seems to be paying dividends, as Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy look comfortable in playing out wide and have been impossible to cope with this season so far. The presence of Vincent Kompany in defence has lent a calming influence on both John Stones and Danilo, thus ensuring City’s back-three remain solid and composed throughout the 90 minutes. Nicolas Otamendi’s good form also gives them a great option to rest and rotate their defenders.
In midfield, the combination of Fernandinho, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne has been ripping teams apart for fun. De Bruyne, especially, seems to be the player around whom Guardiola is building his team and the Belgian is certainly worthy of the honour. He has the skill, vision and technique to unlock any opposition, and his form will be a critical factor in determining how far City go in the Champions League and the Premier League as well this season.
Up front, the lethal combination of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus has already yielded 11 goals in 6 games in all competitions, and it will only get better as the season goes on. The Argentinian and the Brazilian have figured out an excellent understanding, one that is not only clinical but also allows the players to flourish individually.
All said and done, having a good enough squad is not enough to guarantee you a Champions League win and that has been shown time and again over the years. Manchester City would be well-advised to not become complacent and rather take it one game at a time and see how far it takes them.
However, it’d be safe to say that their chances are quite good, in the Premier League and also the Champions League.