Manchester City has rarely shown any signs of vulnerability, any hint that they are not perfect in all departments in the previous two seasons. But then their rare occasions of weakness have come at the biggest stages of football when mistakes would have been deadly for them. Despite their formidable squad and great form, they twice bowed out of the elite competition from the quarter-finals.
Liverpool gave them a sound thrashing to take some shine from their record-breaking season. Then in the previous campaign, Tottenham defeated them on aggregate and caused a heart-break for Pep Guardiola, who once again failed to grasp the coveted trophy.
Will this season be any different for the great Spanish manager? It is very early to say anything with certainty, but the early signs are very promising for Manchester City. Where their Premier League rivals Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea all failed, City strolled past Shakhtar Donetsk and secured full points.
Manchester City is 10/3 favorites to win this season’s Champions League trophy with Bet365 and SkyBet. With William Hill, they are priced at 3/1 on the same outcome while Unibet is offering 33/10 on City’s chances.
Barcelona is available at 11/2 with 888Sport to become the Champions League winners. They are priced at 5/1 on the same outcome with SkyBet, William Hill, Betfair, and BetVictor.
While defending Champions, Liverpool is 7/1 with Bet365 to repeat the same feat this season. On the same outcome, you can get odds of 13/2 with William Hill and Betway. You can visit here to get all these best odds and offers of the leading bookmakers in the world.
1- A big motivation for Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola is currently the best manager in the world. If you doubt it, then have a look at the number of trophies he has won in three different countries and with three different teams. He conquered Spain with Barcelona, he triumphed over Germany with Bayern Munich, and now even England fell under his spell with Manchester City.
So far, he has won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup since taking charge at Manchester City. The Champions League trophy is the last frontier for this legendary manager. He has twice won this trophy with Barcelona but then has failed to lift it again.
Pep Guardiola doesn’t stay for more than 3 or 4 years at a club and is very different in this regard to other great managers like Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. Therefore, it is very likely that he will depart from Manchester City at the end of this season, and so he will put all his efforts and energy to conquer this last frontier with Manchester City before leaving.
To achieve this purpose, he has all the best resources at his disposal. He can utilize all the firepower of Sterling, Aguero, Sane, and Mahrez. He can use all the midfield creativity of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva. And to add to his strengths, City has made some reinforcements over the summer. They were looking for a great midfielder for many years, and now their wish is fulfilled in the form of Rodrigo.
2- Kevin De Bruyne
Undoubtedly, Manchester City has a great squad depth. But even they can’t find a good replacement for a playmaker like Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian can prise open even the most stubborn defense with his creativity. His passing is perfect, his speed is great, and his finishing is also flawless. He was a stand-out performer in Manchester City’s record-breaking season.
Unluckily for City, De Bruyne spent the majority of last season on the treatment table. They were devoid of his services in many important games. He was benched in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Tottenham, but gave a spectacular performance in the second leg, even though his team went out on aggregate in the end. And now that the Belgian is fully fit and firing, City can start their European campaign with new vigor.