Manchester City Champions League group: Worst and best possible scenarios from the draw

Pep Guardiola's 's side will discover their three opponents during Thursday's group stage draw

Evan Bartlett
Thursday 24 August 2017 16:11
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Manchester City reached the Champions League semi-final in 2015/16, their best performance in the competition
Manchester City reached the Champions League semi-final in 2015/16, their best performance in the competition

Manchester City enter the Champions League group stages for the seventh consecutive season this year, looking to improve on their relatively underwhelming record in the competition to date.

Pep Guardiola was hired by the Etihad hierarchy last summer to turn City into a European powerhouse and he knows as well as anyone that only winning the Champions League will achieve that.

City went out at the round of 16 stage last year after losing to Leonardo Jardim's swashbuckling young Monaco side and could well face the Ligue 1 champions again this year.

City will discover the three teams they are due to face in the Champions League group stage in the draw which takes place in Monaco at 5pm BST on Thursday afternoon.

Each of the 32 teams will be divided into four pots and then drawn into eight different groups – comprising of one team from each pot.

We already know the composition of Pot 1 – with current holders Real Madrid being grouped alongside the champions of the other top seven leagues in Europe based on Uefa’s coefficient rankings.

In England’s case, that means Premier League champions Chelsea are in Pot 1, while Manchester United and Manchester City are placed in Pot 2. Tottenham are most likely to find themselves in Pot 3 alongside Liverpool, should they qualify, while Celtic will be in Pot 4.

By assuming the top seeds from each play-off tie reach the group stage, we have a good idea of the best and worst possible scenarios for each of the British clubs in the draw.

Here are Manchester City’s worst case scenarios:

  • Real Madrid
  • Manchester City
  • Napoli
  • RB Leipzig

Because City are in Pot 2, they avoid the likes of Barcelona, PSG, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund - but they could find themselves up against defending champions Real Madrid.

  • Juventus 
  • Manchester City
  • Besiktas
  • Feyenoord

Should they draw Juventus from Pot 1, City will avoid Italian sides Napoli and Roma but could instead face a tough trip to Turkish champions Besiktas.

  • Bayern Munich 
  • Manchester City
  • Roma 
  • Sporting

RB Leipzig, who finished second in Bundesliga last season, appear to be the most challenging opponents from Pot 4, which could also contain Dutch champions Feyenoord and Portuguese side Sporting.

Here are City best case scenarios:

  • Spartak Moscow
  • Manchester City
  • FC Basel
  • Apoel Nicosia

The lowest ranked sides in Pot 1 (according to Uefa club coefficient rankings) are Russian champions Spartak Moscow and Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

  • Shakhtar
  • Manchester City
  • Anderlecht
  • Maribor

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