Pep Guardiola might barely have picked a extra beneficial Champions League draw for Manchester Metropolis if he’d tried.
Metropolis will tackle FC Porto, Olympiacos and Marseille in Group C, with ties to happen over the subsequent three months. It is a group that Metropolis might be assured of successful, or qualifying for the knockout levels on the very least.
By avoiding the likes of Bayern Munich, Actual Madrid, Juventus, Atalanta and RB Leipzig, Metropolis can actually set up themselves as group favourites, with none of the larger European sides or the type of groups which have brought about them issues within the final couple of years.
Whereas all three groups deserve full respect and might simply trigger an upset if Metropolis should not on their full recreation, Guardiola will secretly be delighted to have a bunch with comparatively easy travelling necessities amid a busy fixture schedule.
The precise fixtures are launched later at present, with the journey to Olympiacos the trickiest away tie on paper – they held Tottenham to a 2-2 attract Athens final season, earlier than main 2-Zero on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium earlier than Jose Mourinho’s males ran out 4-2 winners.
And with some key Premier League fixtures both facet of the six Champions League video games, Metropolis have a chance to handle the squad to deal with the three-game weeks and compete on two fronts earlier than the home cups return.
The primary three group video games, beginning on October 20/21, are on consecutive weeks, with video games towards West Ham (A), Sheffield United (A) and Liverpool (H) following every recreation.
That Liverpool recreation is already seeking to be essential if Metropolis have any hopes of difficult for the title this season, so their Champions League opponent earlier than that might decide how straightforward their week main as much as that conflict is.
Liverpool have drawn Ajax, Atalanta and FC Midtjylland, which is – on paper at the least – a barely harder group. If the fixtures fall proper, Metropolis would hope for a neater house recreation with Liverpool away at Ajax or Atalanta.
After the November worldwide break, a difficult journey to Spurs within the Premier League precedes one other three consecutive weeks of Champions League motion.
The video games following every of the ultimate three fixtures are two beneficial house video games towards Burnley and Fulham, earlier than a visit to Manchester United.
That United recreation may very well be one other essential one within the title race, having misplaced twice to their rivals within the league final season. By that time, although, Metropolis might nicely have certified for the knockout levels within the Champions League, whereas United have a really troublesome group with PSG, RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir.
In a really perfect world, Metropolis might relaxation some key gamers main as much as that recreation, having already secured passage into the last-16 in Europe.
That is all hypothetical, in fact, and final season confirmed that Metropolis are able to slipping up in Europe if they aren’t at their absolute best.
However they at the least have a bunch that ought to restore confidence in Europe after final season’s exit, whereas permitting Guardiola to rotate his squad to maintain their home and European hopes going into the brand new yr.
With a recreation each three days for the subsequent three months, excluding worldwide breaks, it looks as if Metropolis are lastly getting a lift with regards to the fixture checklist.