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A combination of misfortune, miracles and overthinking mean Pep Guardiola is yet to claim club football’s ultimate prize during his time at Manchester City.
The Citizens have had their hearts broken time and time again in the Champions League. First it was the quarter-finals hoodoo, then Thomas Tuchel oversaw a masterplan in the 2021 final before the miracle workers of Real Madrid staged the latest of comebacks in last season’s semi-final.
They’re ready to do it all over again in 2023 after steamrolling RB Leipzig in the round of 16. This is where the competition really hots up, with most of the favourites still left in the competition.
Here’s an overview of who City could face in the quarter-finals of the 2022/23 Champions League.
The group stage was once again a procession for City. The Citizens were one of just four teams to go unbeaten as they progressed into the round of 16 as group winners.
Guardiola’s side conceded just twice as they beat Sevilla home and away, as well as Borussia Dortmund and Copenhagen at the Etihad. The latter two sides held the Manchester club to stalemates in the reverse fixtures, but City’s status as the group’s top dog was never in doubt.
They faced German opposition again in the round of 16 as they were drawn against RB Leipzig. Marco Rose’s side pegged the Citizens back in Saxony as Josko Gvardiol cancelled out Riyad Mahrez’s opener but that tie wasn’t level for long as City ran riot at the Etihad to book their place in the quarter-final.
City are once again the bookies’ favourite to go all the way in this season’s competition, but there’s a couple of teams they’d like to avoid until the final.
While their domestic form has been patchy, Real Madrid are a different beast under the bright lights and City will not want a repeat of last season’s semi-final tie. Los Blancos have all but advanced into the quarters after beating Liverpool 5-2 at Anfield.
Chelsea’s familiarity of City will make Guardiola uneasy should they be paired together, while Bayern Munich may well be the most complete team in the tournament. Despite Napoli’s brilliance this season, the Citizens will fancy their chances against all the Italian sides left in the competition. A quarter-final tie between Napoli and City would be epic.
Here’s a list of Man City’s potential opponents in the quarter-finals: