Champions League has been a love-hate affair for Manchester City in the last decade with love and frustration becoming more and more evident in the last couple of years.
Pep Guardiola’s side will once again be aiming to be victorious for the first time in the club’s history after coming close in both of their last two attempts.
Last season, City suffered a heartbreaking defeat with Real Madrid turning it around in the last five minutes to win 6-5 on aggregate, despite winning the first leg 4-3 at the Etihad Stadium. Runners-up in the year prior in the closest stage we have come to win Ol’ Big Ears.
European football is the toughest stage and winning the competition will put weight behind many claims that City is the best football team in the current era.
How the Champions League draw works
The UEFA competition drawing is simple with 32 teams split into four pots; those four pots, barring Pot 1, are based on club coefficient rankings. Pot 1 will consist of the holders (Real Madrid), the UEFA Europa League winners (Frankfurt) and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations, meaning City will avoid the champions of Italy, Germany, France, Portugal and the Netherlands.
Manchester City is the only English club in Pot 1, so Pot 2 options will be limited as two clubs from the same nation cannot play each other until the quarter-finals of the competition.
Due to the World Cup starting in November, the Champions League schedule has changed and will provide a significant test for the squad. This year’s fixtures will be played in three back-to-back midweek games, sandwiched between some tough fixtures against Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and rivals, Manchester United.
Pep and his team will be hoping for an easier set of European opponents before those Premier League games.
We will assess each pot and give our verdict of the easiest group and a potential group of death that could potentially lie await for Pep Guardiola’s men.