Tuesday, 13 September 2011

How will Man City cope in Champions League?

Man City begin their Champions League campaign with a game against Italian side Napoli but can they cope with the demands of Europe's main competition and, perhaps more to the point, can they cope with the demands of competing in the Champions League as well as challenging for the Premiership title.

To me, the answer to the the first question is fairly obvious. Man City have undoubted quality and, on paper have one of the best squads in Europe. With the additions of Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero and Gael Clichy, all of whom have Champions League experience, they look even more prepared to challenge Europe's elite.

In addition, the style of football often seen in the Champions League seems to suit Man City perfectly. Man City's approach play if often slow and patient, which differs from most Premiership team's but is similar to many European teams who focus more on technical ability. The creativity of people like Samir Nasri and David Silva and the obvious quality that they possess in front of goal should mean they will be able to unlock some of Europe's tightest defences.

One slight concern for them is their poor performance in the europa League last year, a cmpetition many thought they might win. Does this give us an indication of how they will perform in a much harder and more demanding competition? Probably not, but they will have to raisde their game considerably if they are to take on the challenges of the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man Utd and Chelsea.

The bigger question is how well can they compete in both the league and in Europe. Very often this season they will have to face the demands of playing a midweek game followed by a game at the weekend. Can they really sustain a title bid as well as compete in Europe? Of course, they aren't the only side who'll have to deal with this, but Man Utd have the experience and have proven in the past they are more than capable of doing it, having reached 3 of the last 4 Champions League finals and almost always been in the race for the title.

It remains to be seen whether City have enough quality throughout their whole squad and the experience to challenge on all fronts this season.

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