Bookmakers rank Manchester City as the favourites to win this year’s Champions League with the lowest odds among all other teams.
According to some Premier League news outlets, it would be a big surprise if they fail to win the title this season in Premier League. But will Manchester City live up to their name and perform up to par with the expectations while they endure a close race in the EPL? This is what we will talk about in this article when we will take a look at the Sky Blues and their chances to lift the Champions League trophy for the first time in the club’s history.
England always has and always will produce the best football clubs in the world, and what better way to prove that statement than looking at the number English clubs, who have won the most prestigious football tournament; the Champions League. Out of all English clubs, there were 5 that at one point in their history stood at the top of Europe.
Liverpool managed to do it five times, Manchester United three times, Nottingham Forest twice, while Chelsea and Aston Villa both won the Champions League once. Combined, English clubs have 12 titles and 8 runner-up finishes in the Champions League. While this does not even reach the most successful club in the history of the tournament; Real Madrid (13 titles, 3 times runners-up), England is still the country with the most clubs among the title holders. However, the last time an English club managed to win the Champions League was in 2012, when Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich after penalties.
Since 2012 the only club that came close to reclaiming the title was Liverpool last season, who lost in the finals against Real Madrid. But there is another hope for England. Another club that could reclaim the title and bring glory back to the cradle of football. That club is no other than the reigning champions of the Premier League; Manchester City. While they are England’s best chance to win the “holy grail”, we need to ask ourselves; does Manchester City have what it takes to win the title?
As it stands now, Manchester City has a decent chance to win the “quadruple”, which would only add to the numerous honours “Special One” achieved with the clubs he managed. But, winning a quadruple is hard for any club, and the same can be said for Manchester City. With the FA and EFL Cups already in their cabinet, Manchester City “only” have EPL and Champions League titles left to grab for the historical quadruple.
Premier League title race is still a close one and a race where there is no clear winner, but that is a topic for another discussion. So, let’s rather check what chances do the Sky Blues have of reaching their first Champions League title. Looking at past seasons, Real Madrid were the dominant force in the most prestigious European competition, and by only watching them it really seems like winning CL is a “walk in the park”, but the truth cannot be further from that. The competition that is known to be reserved for only the best clubs in the world, solely by its description proves it’s by no means easy to win for any club.
Have you ever heard of Juventus and Atletico Madrid? Those two clubs have been trying to win the Champions League since 2014 but had to settle with the 2nd place. While those are just two clubs that have reached finals in the recent years, there are also names like Bayern, PSG, Barcelona all a dominant force in their domestic leagues who still don’t possess enough strength (or luck) to lift the CL trophy. Taking all that into consideration, it’s fair to say; winning the Champions League is one of the toughest tasks in the world of football, where only the best succeeds.
Manchester City have come a long way in the last few years, grabbing numerous titles and trophies in their domestic league, but the European trophy has always been out of reach for them. Last season, Manchester City were knocked out in the quarterfinals, a year prior they even lost in the round of 16 against Monaco. Their best result in the Champions League up until now was the semi-finals in 2016 when they lost to Real Madrid (0:1), but they are surely ready to claim what they deserve this season right?
There is a reason Manchester City hired Guardiola as their head coach. Not only is he a spectacular coach, but he is also the one who can bring a team to the top of European mountain. He has done it before and will do it again. In addition to a superb coach, Manchester City also has an exceptional team who on paper looks strong enough to face off any other team in the World.
Looking back at their first leg match against Schalke, Manchester City have proven their worth, winning 2:3 despite being a man down. It truly was a presentation of how a well-rounded team performs on the European stage. While it is true, they played against Schalke, who are sitting at the bottom part of their domestic league, Manchester City did put up a good show in Germany.
With the 2nd leg of 1/8 finals in front of them, this is only a tip of the iceberg of tough matches for Manchester City, who need to prepare themselves to defeat teams like Juventus, Barcelona, PSG, Real Madrid and even well-known opponents; Tottenham and Liverpool.
To finally answer the question; Can Manchester City win the Champions League? Yes. Not only do they have a good chance of doing so, but they also got the best chance of lifting the trophy out of all their previous campaigns.
The focus for City should be get the job done quickly in the second leg and prepare for the big guns in the later stages. The Sky Blues must be ready to beat any opponent including Barcelona and the experienced holders Madrid in order to end the continental trophy drought.