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Champions League group verdict: Manchester City should finish above Shakhtar, Zagreb and Atalanta

Manchester City Champions League group verdict: Pep Guardiola’s side should finish above Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta

  • Manchester City will face Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta
  • Pep Guardiola’s side will be confident of topping Champions League Group C
  • Although they face some lengthy trips, City have the quality to prevail

Manchester City have been placed in Group C in this season’s Champions League group stage draw, along with Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta. 

City will be seeking to progress beyond the quarter-finals, the stage at which they were beaten by Tottenham in dramatic circumstances last season. 

Here’s a look at the opposition Pep Guardiola’s side will face in this season’s group stage.  

Manchester City will face Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta

Group C opponents 

Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar remain the dominant force in Ukrainian football having won the league title for the past three seasons. 

The club continue to unearth talented Brazilians, with Taison, Tete and Dentinho the leading names in their current crop, along with Brazilian born Ukrainians Junior Moraes and Marlos. 

Their attacking threat and geographical advantage mean they could be a tricky proposition. 

Shakhtar's attacking threat and geographical advantage mean they could be tricky opponents

Shakhtar’s attacking threat and geographical advantage mean they could be tricky opponents

Star man

Marlos

The attacking midfielder has been named Ukraine’s Footballer of the Year for the past three seasons.

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Marlos has been very impressive in recent seasons

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Marlos has been very impressive in recent seasons

European pedigree

Shakhtar’s best performance in the competition was a quarter-final finish in 2011.

Danger rating

This is the third season in succession that City have faced Shakhtar in the Champions League group stages.

Pep Guardiola’s side have won three of the four previous meetings, and prevailed 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium last campaign. 

However, they were beaten away two seasons ago and know that the trip to Ukraine will be a difficult one.  

Distance

2,007 miles 

Dinamo Zagreb

The Croatian side’s biggest transfer this summer cost just over £2m. 

That tells you all you need to know about what Zagreb are up against this season.

Zagreb have been in the Champions League on numerous occasions but have never progressed beyond the group stages.  

Dinamo Zagreb lack City's financial clout and could struggle in the group stage this season

Dinamo Zagreb lack City’s financial clout and could struggle in the group stage this season 

Star man

Amer Gojak

The Bosnian has scored twice in qualifying and looks to be Zagreb’s main threat.

22-year-old midfielder Amer Gojak (right) is the star player for Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb

22-year-old midfielder Amer Gojak (right) is the star player for Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb 

European pedigree

The furthest Zagreb have reached in the Champions League is the group stage.

Danger rating 

City will be confident of prevailing past Zagreb at home and should also be able to take all three points from the away clash. 

Distance

972 miles 

Atalanta 

Atalanta are competing in the Champions League for the first time this season

Atalanta are competing in the Champions League for the first time this season

Champions League newcomers Atalanta will be looking to cause an upset in Europe’s elite club competition.  

They brought in Luis Muriel from Sevilla this summer for £13.5m.

Star man

Luis Muriel

The experienced Serie A striker will be a handful for any opponent.

Atalanta striker Luis Muriel could cause problems for City in the Champions League

Atalanta striker Luis Muriel could cause problems for City in the Champions League

European pedigree

This is the first time Atalanta have made it into the Champions League having finished third last season.

Danger rating

You can’t write off a team that finished above Inter, AC Milan and Roma last campaign but they are the most inexperienced side in this competition.

Distance

755 miles 

City will travel 3734 miles during the group stage

Where will Manchester City finish in group C? 

Pep Guardiola's side will be confident of finishing top of their Champions League group

Pep Guardiola’s side will be confident of finishing top of their Champions League group

It would be a major surprise if City don’t finish top of their group.

Given the quality of Guardiola’s squad and their favourable draw, City should safely make it through to the knockout stages. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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