Manchester City Primed To Claim First Champions League Success In 2018/19?
Manchester City were on another level for most of the 2017/18 campaign. Domestically, the Citizens were unstoppable – Pep Guardiola’s side lost just two league games all season.
City were 19 points clear of their closest domestic rivals but they fell short in the Champions League once again. Winning Europe’s elite club competition for the first time will be Pep’s top priority in 2018/19, and it would take a brave man to back against them.
Drawn into Group F alongside Lyon, Shakhtar Donetsk and Hoffenheim, City will expect to secure top spot ahead of the knockout stages. In theory, finishing first in the group should give Pep’s side a favourable last-16 double header but it doesn’t always work out that way.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) August 30, 2018
However, to be the best, you have to beat the bes,t so City will not be worried about coming up against Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich during the initial knockout round.
Kevin de Bruyne’s injury has affected City, though, there’s no doubt about it. The Belgian is one of the best midfielders in world football and Pep’s men were always going to struggle without him. WhoScored figures show that De Bruyne was directly involved in 29 goals in 45 matches last season; replacing those numbers is going to be difficult.
De Bruyne was central to City’s creativity and success in 2017/18 and fans will be hoping that he returns fresh and fully fit ahead of the business end of the season. He can be City’s difference maker in the Champions League knockout stages.
At the time of writing, City are two points off the pace in the Premier League title race and Blues supporters will be quietly confident of retaining the English crown in 2018/19.
Premier League betting odds show City at 4/7 to fend off the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea – City will expect to challenge on multiple fronts this season, even with De Bruyne out through injury. Watch this space; it could be another glittering year for this Manchester City side.
Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling have both looked dangerous in the early stages of the 2018/19 campaign and these two men can fire City to the knockout stages.
Raheem Sterling’s game by numbers vs. Newcastle:
53 (87%) passes completed
4 tackles won
2 chances created
A top performance. pic.twitter.com/dlOzIcCiAo
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 1, 2018
Sterling has received unfair criticism for off-field incidents in recent times but his efforts on the pitch deserve plenty of praise. Meanwhile, Aguero is still one of the most lethal strikers in world football and he could lead the line for City in Europe this season.
For Manchester City fans, Champions League glory is the ultimate objective. The Blues are one of Europe’s strongest football clubs and Pep Guardiola can take City to the next level. That was always the main aim of the club board when they appointed the Spaniard at the helm.
Breaking a number of Premier League records was the start of things to come; Pep can take City to the summit of European football in the not-so-distant future. Watch this space – 2018/19 could be City’s time to announce themselves on the Champions League stage.