For those Blue Mooners who've been living in a cave for the last few months, Man City are the current UEFA Champions League holders. Taking this into consideration with the new Champions League season approaching, the Citizens are definitely in the running to keep the title they won in Istanbul in June.
Will Man City be making the short trip to Wembley Stadium for a third final appearance in four years by the time 1 June 2024 arrives? With the wealth of talent the club possesses, you certainly can't write them off.
2023/24 UEFA Champions League Group G
The Citizens landed in Group G at the 2023/24 Champions League draw. Pundits believe Man City's chances of another deep run in the competition are better after the draw. The other teams that landed in their group in Monaco on 31 August are good ones, but the feeling is the draw could have been tougher for the champions.
Pep Guardiola's team's major opposition in Group G should come from the Bundesliga's RB Leipzig. Marco Rose's squad is somewhat different to last season's, with three of their key players departing for the Premier League. One of these, Joško Gvardiol, will likely line up against his old team for Man City when the teams meet.
Gvardiol joined Man City in the summer for £77 million. Could this large sum actually turn out to be detrimental to his ex-employers on the field due to the Champions League draw?
Another departed member of the 2022/23 Leipzig squad is Dominik Szoboszlai. The talented midfielder is now showing his playing skills and aptitude to great effect at Liverpool. RB Leipzig also lost Christopher Nkunku to Chelsea during the summer transfer window.
The German club has done some replacing, with five different players costing over £10 million each arriving at the Red Bull Arena. The oldest of these are only 23 - Loïs Openda from Lens and Christoph Baumgartner from fellow Bundesliga club Hoffenheim. None of these new signings currently demand the kind of respect as those who've departed, though. Perhaps by next June, they will.
Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys
Red Star Belgrade from Serbia and runaway Swiss champions Young Boys are the other two teams in Group G. Red Star is the Balkan region's most successful club, with a 1991 European Cup win. Young Boys are 16-time winners of the Swiss Super League, but neither side will strike fear into Man City or RB Leipzig. Having said that, their European records mean they still demand a level of respect.
Man City's Chances of 2023/24 Champions League Success
At this early stage, most new betting sites in the UK for 2023 rate Man City highly to retain their crown. In fact, the odds of 2/1 already on offer for The Citizens make them outright favourites as things stand. Their major title challengers should come from Bayern Munich (11/2) and Real Madrid (8/1), with both attracting attention in sports books. Next best are Arsenal (10/1) and Barcelona (14/1). As always, it's worth keeping a close eye on the odds as the season develops, along with the other markets for individual European games and players.
Speaking of players, Man City will be without the immense talent of Kevin De Bruyne through injury for much of the current campaign. Most teams would find the loss of a player like De Bruyne too hard to recover from, but City are made of sterner stuff. With Phil Foden and Julián Álvarez already combining well and the might of Erling Haaland up front, Man City have plenty of other options.
You can also then add the recently-acquired Matheus Nunes's enthusiasm, Jack Grealish's skill and Bernardo Silva's experience into the mix. The Manchester club's list of world-beaters seems never-ending, doesn't it? Good enough for a real push at a UEFA Champions League title defence, at least!