Can Manchester City go all the way in the UEFA Champions League this season?
- What are the chances of Manchester City finally winning the UCL trophy this season?
Manchester City are yet to win the UEFA Champions League despite having one of the strongest squads in Europe. The pressure is now mounting on Pep Guardiola to deliver the coveted trophy to the Etihad, having failed to go past the quarterfinals in each of their last three attempts.
The Cityzens recently received a 2-year suspension from all European competitions for breach of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, leaving the heavily decorated Spaniard with just one shot at winning the trophy before his contract expires in the summer of 2021. So, will the Sky Blues go out in style or will they have to wait until the 2022/23 season to get on with their pursuit for the Old Big Ears?
Well, as always, a team managed by Guardiola is a natural favourite to win both the league and the Champions League in any season. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich gaffer has always had that pressure on his shoulders, and, true to form, he has won the league seven times out of a possible 11 with three clubs in three different leagues. The Champions League has, however, remained somewhat of a dream for the 48-year-old, who has gone seven full seasons without winning it or even reaching the final.
That said, many pundits reckon this is the year when the Etihad outfit finally taste European glory. Pep’s men already have one foot in the UCL semifinal, having inflicted a 2-1 defeat on Spanish giants Real Madrid in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie. The odds are high that the Premier League giants will register another win in the return fixture, given the match will be played at the Etihad in front of the home crowd.
Additionally, Manchester City have no Premier League distractions to spare much attention for. Liverpool are currently 22 points clear at the top with 10 matches to go, and the chances of anyone clinching the trophy other than the Merseyside club are extremely low. That leaves Pep with only the Champions League and the FA Cup to worry about.
Of course, this is a knock-out competition, and anything can happen. You cannot close your mind to the prospect Real Madrid overturning the first-leg defeat or a weaker opponent pulling off an upset in the latter stages of the tournament. However, if sheer strength, squad depth, experience, and desire for glory are anything to go by, then City have what it takes to go all the way this season.Published 06 Mar 2020, 19:14 IST