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It’s important to keep your friends close—And enemies closer. We take a positive look at Man City’s performance to better understand what United can do to play better this time around.
Manchester City has been in exceptionally good form in recent months. Their matches against the strongest contenders have all proved to be hints toward what’s to come. We have strong reasons to believe that the team will be making quite a splash in the Champions League 2023-24. Why? Well, let’s find out.
Manchester City is definitely one of the best football teams right now. For example, if you check the chances for the upcoming UEFA Champions League, Man City is likely going to be the winner beating all others.
To test that hypothesis, we looked up some reliable oddsmakers that have pretty solid odds for English football games in general. And right on cue, they are placing Manchester City at +225 while all others trail behind.
Going deeper into this sports betting Canada platform, we found the odds for other teams as well. Bayern Munich is at +550, Real Madrid at +700, Arsenal at +1100, Barcelona at +1400, PSG at +1400 too, and us, Man United, are placed at +1600.
That’s as expected, from whichever angle you look at it like current performance or H2H stats. Though we’re not 100% happy with United’s current standing, nothing is set in stone, really.
Standing, Ranking, and Stats
The team is not only coming off a great performance but is also statistically sound. In recent years, the team has had a tendency to reach the more advanced stages. In the pot, we have teams like Napoli, Munich, PSG, Benfica, and Barcelona with City.
Man City won the last edition (Champions League 2022-23) and will be defending their glory with renewed vigour. That season saw City’s Erling Haaland scoring the tournament’s most goals (12) and Kevin De Bruyne having the tournament’s most assists (6).
Defeating Inter was a great feat—And we believe that the team will continue to perform along similar lines.
We should also note that there have only been two instances where the defending champions managed to defend the trophy. It was Real Madrid both times. The tournament, in general, is quite unpredictable.
If there is another team that can defend the trophy as well as Real Madrid even against stark competition, then it’s probably not Manchester City.
It’s an uphill task. The staff and players can be in good spirits but that wouldn’t matter much. The single elimination in the knockout stages means that it doesn’t directly matter how good the teams are—There is always the possibility of losing and that makes it quite challenging to win back-to-back tournaments.
Man City’s performance is nothing short of a powerhouse. It has exceptional squad depth with talented footballers who have etched their names in history in several European competitions. The bench strength is also nearly as strong as the starting lineup, making the team a formidable opponent to break through.
There’s also the tactical flexibility that we’re only seeing improving lately. The past few weeks have shown us that City’s talented players can overwhelm opponents pretty easily. The ability to adapt the playing style to exploit weaknesses has been instrumental in the success of the team recently—And it’s a skill that will come in very handy in the 2023-24 Champions League.
Quite expectedly, we also saw the team improve their relentless performance. The high-pressing style of the team can actively dismantle and disrupt any kind of build-up play even from the toughest competitors and in the knockout stages.
Forcing turnovers high up the pitch
Not surprisingly, the team’s midfield control has also improved over the last year or so. It’s a place of creativity and comprehensive control that, when coupled with the strong defensive unit, can propel the team to ever higher records when they play in the Champions League.
These are all the things that United is facing. The 2022-23 squad is shaping up to be remarkable and we think they have what it takes to beat City in their own game this time around. However, just beating City won’t be enough.
There are bigger and more imminent threats to United’s performance that only a balanced squad can’t solve.
We have analyzed City’s current performance so that you know what United is up against.
This is the last UEFA competition with 32 teams in the group stage with the format slated to change from 2024-25 onward. Let’s see if City can defend the trophy against bigger threats and where does United land with a powerful squad!