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Has City's time in Europe arrived?

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: City's group-stage opponents are now confirmed

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: City's group-stage opponents are now confirmed

Manchester City’s Champions League group is confirmed. We’ve taken a look at some of the major talking points ahead of Group F getting started.

1Next step forward

Arguably the next overriding challenge for Pep Guardiola’s squad is to transfer their magnificent domestic form into the latter stages of the Champions League.

A frustrating last 16 exit at the hands of Monaco in Pep’s first season at the Club was followed last season by defeat at the quarter-finals stage to Liverpool.

Given the quality of the City squad however – not to mention the belief, desire and resolve within the squad to prosper in Europe – there is genuine reason for optimism looking ahead to the 2018/19 Champions League campaign.

READ: Champions League | Txiki reaction 

READ: Champions League | Lyon factfile

2Depth charge

The greatest challenge for any English club is to have the necessary resources required to cope with the gruelling twin demands of domestic and European football.

And in that regards City looked more than well stocked as the Club gears up for the rigours of the Autumn and Winter.

Injuries to Kevin De Bruyne and Claudio Bravo notwithstanding, City possess a squad not only rich in talent but one which also offers Guardiola myriad selection possibilities.

The summer arrival of attacking winger Riyad Mahrez – a player who shone on the Champions League stage with Leicester two seasons – has only helped bolster City’s potential firepower.

It all adds to the sense of anticipation ahead of the resumption of European battle.

3A familiar foe...

Only last season, City were drawn in a group alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, and we saw firsthand the quality they possess. 

Our 2-0 win at the Etihad may look comfortable on paper, but they played some excellent football, producing slick passing moves that, at times, we struggled to deal with. 

Two of the stars of that performance, Fred and Bernard, have left the club this summer, joining Manchester United and Everton, respectively. 

But in their place comes two more Brazilians - Maycon and Fernando - and given Shakhtar's record of signing top-class South Americans, they are likely to remain a real threat. 

The defeat we suffered in the return match in Ukraine came when we were already qualified as group winners, but nevertheless provided another reminder of their quality. 

They will be tough opponents. 

4...and a step into the unknown 

Unlike Shakhtar, our other two Group F opponents, Lyon and Hoffenheim, are unfamiliar to us. 

Never in our entire history have we played either side, meaning this is a step into the unknown for the Blues. 

Lyon finished last season third in Ligue 1, while Hoffenheim were third in the Bundesliga.

When one considers the strength of some of the other groups, the City staff may feel satisfied with our fate.

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