Manchester City Champions League Breakdown

City are back in Europe

Manchester City will be back in action next week as the remainder of the Champions League is set to be completed.

Pep Guardiola's side go into their round of 16 second leg tie against Real Madrid with a one-goal advantage to their name and two away goals, which could prove to be a crucial factor.

After competing for nearly every trophy in their way over the last decade, the Champions League, however, is noticeably missing from the trophy cabinet and City fans are desperate to fill the void.

Let's see what their route to the final looks like, their odds and if the Guardiola's men are truly capable of achieving a historic European title.

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City's route to the final

Spanish giants Real Madrid are the ones currently standing in the way of City reaching the Champions League quarter-finals for a third consecutive year. Zinedine Zidane's side will be looking for revenge following their shock round of 16 exit to Ajax last season after winning the competition three times in a row from 2016-2018.

Should City overcome the La Liga champions in the round of 16, they will have a tie against either Lyon or Juventus in the quarter-finals in Lisbon. The French side are leading in the tie following a shock 1-0 win against the Old Lady in the first leg but going into the second game, Juventus are the bookies favourite to overcome that one-goal disadvantage and qualify for the quarter-finals for the fourth year in a row.

City should have enough about them to beat Lyon but it will be a different story should Juventus have the pleasure of going up against the Citizens that could be expected to go all the way to penalties. If successful, their semi-final will come four days later against either Napoli, Barcelona, Chelsea or Bayern Munich before a potential final against either RB Leipzig, Atletico Madrid, Atalanta or PSG, none of whom have won Europe's biggest prize before.

can they win it?

City are a side that have looked increasingly stronger and better under Pep Guardiola. Although many of them expected to enter a period of domestic dominance following their consecutive league wins in 2018 and 2019 where they accumulated 198 points over the two seasons but despite failing to win this seasons Premier League and FA Cup, many City fans would still be happy to sacrifice domestic dominance for their maiden Champions League.

Out of the 12 clubs remaining in the competition, City are one of seven clubs to have not won the Champions League yet. However, unlike other sides, City have Guardiola in their armoury, a manager that has won the competition as both a player, in 1992, and as a manager in 2009 and 2011. Having this experience behind him, it can give City a really useful advantage in the business end of the competition.

On City's day, they are a side to be feared that are capable of beating anyone but when it reaches the quarter-final stage of any competition, all the remaining teams then have realistic chances of potentially reaching the final at least, even including Atalanta who are making their debut in UEFA's elite club competition.

Especially now that the ties, from the quarter-finals, will be decided by a single leg, there will not be a chance to put right any slip-ups that could cost them in a game so, whoever goes on to win the Champions League, will probably need some good luck along the way.

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A win could send City into a new stratosphere

This is the one trophy City fans have been craving for. Liverpool fans, this season, seemed to be willing to sacrifice the Champions League, that they had won twice in the last 15 years, if it meant they could claim their first Premier League title. The same principle applies to City in that fans would be more than happy to sacrifice the Premier League, where they have endured so much success of late, just so they can taste European glory.

Having not had much experience of European football prior to their takeover in 2008, which signified the dawn of a new era at the club, and considering the progress they have made since, the one thing they are lacking is a Champions League trophy in their cabinet.

Winning the Champions League will cement them in European football's history books and with the quality of squad that they have along with a manager of Guardiola's calibre, this is their best chance of going all the way this time especially when City fans will not want Liverpool to enjoy having ownership of the Premier League trophy for too long.

By Rob Spereall

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