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Manchester City have once again been told that they are in the “Group of Death”. This should come as no surprise to either the supporters or to anybody connected with the club. Manchester City always get drawn in the “Group of Death”.

The problem here is the inferiority complex which could develop through this attitude. Why is this the toughest group from which to qualify just because it contains Barcelona? Over two games I would expect City to take at least one point from Messi and co. This leaves Borussia Mönchengladbach and Celtic. From these four games I would expect at least eight points which would give them a total of nine, more than likely enough to see them through in second place.

In reality they should take six points from either the Germans or the Scots if not both and in so doing should qualify quite comfortably.

Of course, qualifying in second place does, theoretically, give them a tougher opponent in the first knockout stage but, as has been pointed out before, at some stage they will have to beat a good team if they have any thoughts of winning the competition.

The question for Pep Guardiola to answer is; can he take City all the way to the final? He didn’t manage to reach that stage with Bayern Münich and he had, arguably, a better team than he has with City.

Time will tell.

José Mourinho, meanwhile, is preparing United for a trip to Feyenoord in the Europa League. This is a competition neither he nor the club wanted. Their ambition, each and every year, is Champion’s League qualification and they have now failed to achieve this for two of the last three seasons. They hardly covered themselves in glory in the one season that they did qualify. Not making it past the group stage when they were in one of the easiest groups further alienated Louis van Gaal from the fans.

There is a grin-and-bear-it approach to the Europa League which suggests that, although he would be quite happy to win it, José Mourinho would also not be bitterly disappointed were he to be knocked out. What he doesn’t want is to be embarrassed in the same way that van Gaal was in the Champion’s League.

So Manchester United will take on Feyenoord, Fenerbahce and Zorya Luhansk. If they can’t qualify from that group they certainly don’t deserve to win it and they will be embarrassed.

Then they both return to league action where, United in particular, continue their quest to win the title or, if not, finish in the top three. Anything else would only be a slight improvement on the van Gaal era. They are away to Watford which really is a game they should be winning.

City are at home to Bournemouth so nothing less than six points for the Manchester clubs should be expected this weekend.

Just a quick mention for Chelsea. They have no European football at all this season, a fact which should really make them favourites to win the Premier League but, for some strange reason, doesn’t. They have a tricky home game against Liverpool on Friday night and, with their recent inability to beat Swansea, that is no guarantee of three points.

Antonio Conte may also be looking on, slightly enviously, of Manchester City and even less enviously of Manchester United, but his side’s lack of European football surely gives them a fantastic opportunity to win the title this season.

How ‘s this for a treble?

Champion’s League winners: Manchester City
Europa League winners:           Manchester United
Premier League winners:         Either of the above

With Chelsea to finish third. (I didn’t say they WOULD win it, just that they have a chance!)

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Comments
  1. RedMe says:

    Guardiola already said that this City team is not ready to compete in Europe. Mourinho thinks that at least by playing Europa league he can give everybody games.

    Like

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