Manchester City, favorites to win both the Premier League and Champions League, continue to find success without playing a recognized striker in their team. The failure to sign a striker hasn’t hampered them so far, but can their run continue, and ultimately, take them to success this season?
A five-star performance in Lisbon saw City run away with the first leg of their Champions League game against Sporting, and they again did it with no striker on the field of play. Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez were deployed as the furthest man forward at different times during the game, and both found the scoresheet whilst interchanging in the front line.
A ruthless display! 🔥
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 15, 2022
With so much quality and goalscoring ability in their team, it wouldn’t be the biggest shock for City to win the Champions League, even without a striker. The latest sports betting has City at +225 to win the Champions League. That makes them clear favorites, ahead of fellow Premier League team Liverpool, who are priced at +400, just ahead of Bayern Munich who are slightly further out.
However, this isn’t the only trophy they are focusing on, the closing of their gap in the Premier League means that the club has to also focus on that with Liverpool, just off the back of their League Cup success, hot on their heels.
Could the Premier League Harm City’s Chances of Success?
A loss to Tottenham followed their huge victory in Lisbon, so questions remain about how the extra fixtures will impact their Premier League title defence. They have some of the best depth across Europe and Pep Guardiola has shown that he is skilled at rotating players to keep them happy while also maintaining a high standard, but he can’t afford to make any mistakes going forwards, whilst also making a charge for the FA Cup.
Harry Kane v Manchester City, 19.02.2022. 🎥 pic.twitter.com/jEhTp4C9nP
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 22, 2022
With the gap between City and Liverpool being so small, City will be unable to rest players in the league ahead of Champions League games, or specifically play a stronger team in the Champions League, they are going to have to play in both even if it’s just substitute appearances for some. In the past, City have had legends such as Sergio Aguero play for them, do they have someone in their current squad capable of scoring big goals and firing them to glory this season?
While the Premier League and Champions League are two different competitions, their success in the Champions League will partly be determined by what they do in the Premier League – with momentum sure to play a huge factor in proceedings.
One big advantage the team does have is that when they play their big rivals Liverpool in the Premier League, they will be at home and have the Etihad crowd behind them all the way. Fighting on both fronts and needing to play their best team in every competition is not going to help City finally claim their ever so desired Champions League title, so the Premier League will have an impact on their chances.
For the sake of their Champions League push, City will be hoping to extend their Premier League lead over Liverpool when it gest to the crucial matches later on in the premier European competition.