Manchester City failed to top their group, finishing second behind Barcelona, which hands the Citizens the possibility of clashing with one of Europe’s finest clubs in the Round of 16- making Monday’s draw extremely important.
It was the first time that a Pep Guardiola side has failed to finish top of their Champions League group and the Catalan boss hasn’t quite found his way fully with the Premier League side this season, although the hope will be that by the Spring he would have improved the club’s fortunes.
With potentially huge opponents though, it’s a concerning situation for City and we’ve identified their potential opponents here.
Perhaps not as strong as they were last season with Gonzalo Higuain, Napoli only lost once in the group stage- a 3-2 defeat to Besiktas. Whilst Manchester City will be regarded as the favourites if they tie the Naples outfit, it’s a potential banana skin for the Citizens.
On the face of it though, City would probably take this tie if it were offered to them given the strength they could face elsewhere.
Diego Simeone’s side have reached the Champions League final twice in the past three years and beat Bayern Munich to top-spot in the group. With Antoine Griezmann amongst their ranks, Atletico are arguably the toughest side City could face.
Seeing Atletico come toe-to-toe with Manchester City would be a great encounter but you may edge in favour of the Spaniards, with Simeone tactically overcoming Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the Champions League last season.
Another tie that Manchester City would probably take, Monaco beat Bayer Leverkusen and Tottenham Hotspur to top their group. Having caused problems for one English side this season, Monaco also infamously overcame Arsenal two years ago.
With a rejuvenated Radamel Falcao amongst their ranks, Monaco are capable of an upset but it’s a tie that Manchester City would select ahead of potentially tougher other sides in the draw.
Manchester City likely celebrated Borussia Dortmund’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Real Madrid this evening, as it meant the Citizens could not face Los Blancos in the next round. Instead, a possible clash with Thomas Tuchel’s side could take place.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus, Dortmund should not be taken lightly but if anyone can overcome the German side, it’s Pep Guardiola- who has three years of experience facing the club.
Italian giants Juventus proved to be contenders in Europe two years ago when they reached the final, losing to Barcelona, and whilst they’ve lost key players since, they do still possess an abundance of talent- including summer signings Gonzalo Higuain and Miralim Pjanic.
Of the super-clubs in the draw awaiting City, Juventus may perhaps be the one Pep Guardiola’s side would select but the Turin giants are certainly capable of overcoming the Citizens.