Maurizio Sarri declared after watching his impressive Napoli team fall to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night that Pep Guardiola’s side could go all the way and win the UEFA Champions League this season.
It’s a little early to get too confident about lifting a trophy City dream of winning – as last season proved, no matter how good a team looks, form can dip – but City have reached a level arguably never seen before this season, and if they can stay consistent, then the sky is the limit.
City supporters have to like what they’ve seen from their team early in the Champions League. With a perfect 3-0 record and a 8-to-1 goal difference, the Blues are well on their way to finishing first in Group F, a result that would give them an easier Round of 16 draw. The soccer oddsmakers at sportsbettingdime.com had City at 25/2 to win the 2018 Champions League when the season began; they’re now up to 10/1; in addition to their strong start in the Champions League group stage, they are still undefeated in the Premier League (7-1-0) and pre-season favourites Real Madrid have shown some cracks in La Liga – and were held to a draw by Spurs in the Champions League last night.
Zinedine Zidane’s side have been the best in Europe as proven by winning the Champions League two years in a row, but on current form Manchester City are more impressive, and if that keeps up, Guardiola’s men have to believe they can go all the way to Kiev, host city of this season’s final.
Keeping the team fresh will be important for City’s hopes of competing on all fronts this season, and Guardiola has rotated very little recently. But with the likes of Bernardo Silva, İlkay Gündoğan and Danilo having featured very little to date this season, there is a level of squad depth previously unseen at City, and that could help in the winter months when the fixtures pile up.
Can City win the UEFA Champions League? It’s too early to say for sure, but you have to admit, this Man City side Pep Guardiola has built looks to have a better chance than any before it.