Former Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid and England striker Michael Owen believes it’s Manchester City’s “time” to win the Champions League this season.
Pep Guardiola’s side came agonisingly close to reaching the European semi-finals last time round but a last-gasp VAR referral overturned Raheem Sterling’s injury-time goal against Tottenham and the Citizens ultimately crashed out.
Five things to know Man City’s 2019/20 UCL route…
- Guardiola has won every title available to him at City bar the Champions League.
- He is yet to make it past the quarter-finals, losing to Premier League opposition in the previous two seasons.
- City were handed a favourable set of Europa League group-stage fixtures on Thursday’s draw in Monaco.
- Placed in Group C, City will face Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta.
- Owen believes City can go all the way this campaign.
Despite last season’s late agony, the reigning Premier League champions can rest easy knowing Owen has tipped them to go all the way as the former Liverpool marksman has had previous with successful European predictions.
In 2017/18 he backed former club Real Madrid to clinch the coveted gong, while last term his verdict was another former club in Liverpool, with both predictions bearing fruit – so his latest forecast will certainly have perked up a few ears at the Etihad.
“I think City, I think it’s their time. They’ve been building towards it for a long, long time and it’s certainly their priority,” he told BT Sport.
“Of course, the Premier League and the Champions League are everybody’s priority, but City now are desperate for that. Liverpool are desperate for the Premier League, I think City are desperate for the Champions League.
“I just think that when you watch them now, they are a team that you struggle to see getting built. They’ve got experience with their manager, they’ve got more and more of it with their team. I just think it’s their season.”
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‘Man City like PSG’
Despite prophesying success for City, Owen went on to liken them to PSG in suggesting both clubs are too “gung-ho” in their respective approaches, though he did add that under Guardiola the English champions are evolving.
He added: “Winning the league like Pep has done, he will certainly go away with a huge amount of credit no matter what. The team that we watch every single week will be his legacy. That team is just one of the best we’ve seen, all those records.
“I don’t think it will be a failure if he doesn’t win it. However, imagine how he would walk away if he did. He’d go down as one of the greats.
“I compare them a little way with Paris Saint-Germain over the years, I’ve never, ever fancied them to win this competition for the last five or so years just because of their style of play. You can’t go at it too gung-ho.
“I think City are improving in that way. I think they can keep clean sheets and the ease in which they score goals is just devastating.”