Manchester City And Manchester United Should Progress In Europe With Guardiola And Mourinho In Charge

Posted: August 26, 2016 in European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Despite the moaners and the harbingers of doom, Manchester City should be able to qualify from the group stages of the Champion’s League for the second year running.

As expected they will come up against one of Pep Guardiola’s old clubs almost immediately when they meet up with Barcelona.

As usual, and purely because Barcelona are present in the group, this is being called the “group of death”. It is the group City get every year according to all those “in the know”.

In fairness, if Manchester City cannot take at least four points from Borussia Moenchengladbach and the same from Celtic then they don’t deserve to qualify anyway! Take another point from Barcelona and they should be through with nine. I would really expect them to beat Celtic home and away so, if that is the case, then eleven points would almost certainly see them through. So why is this the “group of death”?

Considering that, assuming they qualify, City would almost certainly have to play one of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Münich in the later stages then they should be thankful that there are two teams in their group from whom they should be able to take some points.

The downside is that Barcelona will probably win the group meaning that City will qualify in second place and have a much harder game in the next round. As mentioned before, if you have any pretensions of winning the trophy you will have to, at some stage, beat a very good team.

Manchester United’s reward for last season’s failure is trips to Turkey, Holland and the Ukraine. This is most definitely not a “group of death”, that would only be the caes if van Gaal had still been in charge but, with Mourinho at the helm I expect a reasonably straightforward qualification from this one.

Fenerbahçe are probably the best of the other teams in the group and Robin van Persie may feel he has a point to prove even if van Gaal is no longer at United. Even so, I would be surprised if United don’t get at least four points from the two games. Feyenoord are a decent side and could prove stubborn but I would still expect six points from the two games. In truth I know nothing about Zorya Luhansk and, for this reason alone, I would also expect six points from the two games.

The next round of both tournaments should, therefore, see both Manchester clubs still involved in the respective competitions. Whether they finish top or second will depend entirely on their attitude when approaching the games. This is particularly true of City when they face Barcelona. They have appeared, in the past, to go into these games with the resigned look of a defeated team even before kick-off.

Is this City’s year to win the Champion’s League for the first time in their history? Is this United’s year to win the Europa League for the first time in their history? Who knows?

It is doubtful that the winning of either would be celebrated as much as it probably should be. City fans seem pretty uninterested in the big cup, preferring to win the Premier League and United fans, although they would celebrate winning the big vase, still see it as a second rate trophy having won the Champion’s League on three occasions. So the city of Manchester may be strangely quiet even if both pieces of silverware end up there!

Whatever the outcome of the two group stages in question, both Manchester clubs will be expected to reach the semi-finals of these competitions. Anything else, whilst not being terminal, will still be regarded as failure considering the two high profile managers currently in charge at these clubs.

  1. RedMe says:

    I don’t expect Barcelona to be as strong this season and I would love it if Manchester could bring back the Champions League and the Europa Cup.


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