Sky Sports pundit gives damning Manchester City Champions League prediction
The Premier League champions continued their 100 per cent start to this year’s competition on Tuesday night thanks to a 5-1 win over Atalanta.
That leaves Pep Guardiola’s side top of Group C with nine points from three games and on the cusp of qualification for the round of 16 knock-out phase.
Having reached the quarter-finals of the competition last season and the year before, Guardiola will be desperate to see City reach the latter stages of the Champions League, which he hasn’t won since 2011 with Barcelona.
However, Merson doesn’t believe that this will be City’s year to create history, pointing out their defensive crisis as a reason they could become unstuck against some of the best attacks in Europe.
With Aymeric Laporte injured until March and Nicolas Otamendi all out, Rodri and Fernandinho were at the heart of City’s defence at the weekend and on Tuesday night.
“City are a very good team, but they are not going to win the Champions League, playing against the best teams in Europe, with two holding midfielders in defence,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“They need Aymeric Laporte back. I thought Juventus would be one of the dangers, but I watched them the other night and they are not going to win it.
“When Bayern Munich rinsed Tottenham the other week, I didn’t think they were the team to beat. I didn’t think that at all if I’m being honest. I thought they looked quite open.”