"You don't have it" - Ex-Barcelona midfielder tells Guardiola why 'favorites' Manchester City could miss out on Champions League glory

Guardiola has been issued a warning over his pursuit of European success
Guardiola has been issued a warning over his pursuit of European success
Nived Zenith

Former Barcelona midfielder Jofre Mateu has identified one reason why Pep Guardiola's Manchester City could come up short in the Champions League this season.

The reigning Premier League champions were favorites to win the coveted trophy last season, but lost to rivals Chelsea during the final in Porto. It proved to be another missed opportunity for Guardiola to get his hands on the Champions League trophy, which has eluded him since 2011.

Despite their disappointment last season, Manchester City have retained their status as one of the biggest favorites to lift the trophy this term. Guardiola's men finished first in Group A, which consisted of strong opponents PSG and RB Leipzig alongside Belgian champions Club Brugge.

Manchester City are now expected to make it through to the quarter-finals of the competition. The Cityzens have established a massive 5-0 advantage over Sporting Lisbon ahead of the second leg of their round of 16 tie.

Every moment in #ManCity’s 5-0 #UCL win vs Sporting, once again? Go on… 😏🔵 @ManCity

Additionally, the Premier League giants dismantled rivals Manchester United in a thumping 4-1 win during the derby on Sunday. As such, not many expect Sporting to cause Manchester City any trouble whatsoever in the return leg.

Although Guardiola looks fairly well-equipped to win Europe's biggest prize this season, Jofre has explained what could prove to be the achilees heel for Manchester City.

Jofre, who came up through La Masia and represented Barcelona at senior level, feels the lack of a genuine no.9 could hurt Guardiola in his pursuit of Champions League glory.

During an interaction with Sportskeeda ahead of the round of 16 second leg ties, he stated:

“The only thing that you can probably say to Guardiola that City are not going to be favorites is because they lack a killer no.9. Guardiola knows it and he knows how to build something without a Haaland, Mbappe or Lewandowski.
“But you don’t have it [at the end of the day]. Sometimes in Champions League matches, you need that key player who just converts two chances you have into two goals."

Watch UEFA Champions League 2021-22 (Round 16 – 2nd Leg): Manchester City vs Sporting CP – LIVE on SONY TEN 1 (English) channels on March 10, 2022, from 1:30 am IST.

Manchester City still 'main favorite' to win Champions League: Jofre

While he is aware of what could potentially go wrong for Manchester City in Europe, Jofre still rates them as the main favorites in the competition.

🔵 Derby doubles for Manchester City...Kevin De Bruyne ⚽️⚽️Riyad Mahrez ⚽️⚽️Will this be their year in Europe too? 🤔#UCL

The Spaniard is of the opinion that Guardiola's side are the best in the world at the moment, signaling they could go very deep in the Champions League yet again.

He added:

"I think Manchester City are the best team in the world right now. They have many players who are really fit [to make a difference].
“Yes, the main favorite for me is City. I’m pretty sure they are going to be there [till the end]. I don’t know about the final because, if you have a bad day, you’re out. If I have to bet for one [team to win], I’m betting for them.”

Manchester City, who have never won the Champions League, will be itching to get their hands on the trophy this season. It will be interesting to see if Guardiola is willing to compromise on the Premier League title to achieve European success.

Watch UEFA Champions League 2021-22 (Round 16 – 2nd Leg): Real Madrid vs PSG – LIVE on SONY TEN 2 (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels on March 10, 2022, from 1:30 am IST.

Paul Merson has predicted Manchester United vs Liverpool and other PL GW3 fixtures! Click here

Edited by Nived Zenith


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