Pep Guardiola marches his Manchester City side into the Champions League for a second year running after finishing third in the Premier League last season.
Andriy Shevchenko and ex-Roma striker Francesco Totti made the draw and the pair assigned Manchester City to Group F. Guardiola’s side will be hoping to go further than their last effort, which saw them bow out Europe’s most prestigious competition in the Round of 16.
The Cityzens succumbed to Ligue 1 Champions Monaco last season. However, there is cause for optimism with Guardiola heading into his second season in charge of the Sky Blues. First though, Manchester City must have to overcome the following teams:
Considering the Ukraine Champions were alongside Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus in Pot 1, Manchester City have been dealt a good hand by receiving them in the draw.
Yet, it won’t be as easy a tie as it seems. Travelling over to Eastern Europe will certainly take its toll on Guardiola’s side and the conditions may make for a tight affair.
Shakhtar will provide a stern test and their Brazilian attacking talents may just surprise an equally offensive Manchester City outfit.
The Italian side were arguably one of the strongest sides City could have drawn from Pot 3, and Napoli will likely be the toughest test for Guardiola’s team in terms of qualification from the group.
Napoli entered the Champions League group stage via a fantastic qualification victory against French side OGC Nice. The Italian outfit finished third after an impressive campaign in the Serie A.
Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon will test Guardiola’s side and Kalidou Koulibaly will be hoping to impress defensively. The aforementioned Mertens was in stellar goalscoring form last season and he will be hoping to bag against the Cityzens when they face.
The Dutch side in Pot 4 round off the group and it comes as good news for City. The short journey to Holland will benefit the players but this Feyenoord team will make it a tough task.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst has to deal without leader Dirk Kuyt this season, a player who would have known how to play against City’s side. Now, it will be up to the likes of Tonny Vilhena and Steven Berghuis to provide Manchester City with a shock.