Etihad Stadium new club

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team are now the outright favourites to challenge for the Champions League trophy in May after an easy group stage draw ensured they should make it into the knockout phases of the competition.

The reigning Premier League champions will face Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon then followed by Hoffenheim in a draw that could have been so much worse. Being placed in pot at the draw benefitted the Citizens and that is clearly noticeable when one compare their group with their Premier League rivals.

City arch-rivals Manchester United will take on Juventus, Valencia, and Young Bhoys in a group that could prove difficult for the Red Devils to get out whilst Tottenham will face Barcelona, Inter Milan and PSV Eindhoven in a well-balanced group.

Liverpool arguable have been handed the toughest draw than any of other Premier League team. The last year finalist have drawn up against Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade which will serve as a test for the Merseysides’ resolve and desire to win the Champions League.

City’s odds for the title was cut out on Thursday afternoon, as they were priced at 6/1 with most bookmakers to lift the trophy, but they are now as short as 9/2 in most places. That makes Manchester City favourites to win the prestigious title for the first time in their history.

City winning the Champions League will definitely mark a remarkable achievement for Pep Guardiola, who broke the record for the most points in Premier League history last season with his side ending the season with 100 points. If Guardiola can guard City up with a Champions League title then his credentials as a manager should never again be questioned.