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Media Watch: City tipped for European glory

EUROPEAN DREAM: City have been tipped to win the 2019/20 Champions League

EUROPEAN DREAM: City have been tipped to win the 2019/20 Champions League

Following a busy day of activity, there is no shortage of City-centric discussion in Friday’s headlines.

The Champions League group stage draw proved the big news of the day, as Pep Guardiola’s men were pitted against Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta in Group C.

READ: Champions League | Group C dates confirmed

WATCH: Fight 'til the End | Part three

TICKETS: City v United | Kids go free!

Thursday also marked the launch of our special 125 Anniversary Collection, as well as international call-ups, and England Women were in action against Tessa Wullaert’s Belgium.

Plus, there’s also build-up to Saturday’s Premier League clash against Brighton and Hove Albion…

Champions League reaction

The Telegraph: Champions League draw group-by-group guide: Our verdict on which teams will progress

Sam Wallace: “Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk meet for the third year in a row in the group stages.

“Last season it was 9-0 to City over the two games. It feels like this could be Pep Guardiola’s year - if the big decisions go his way.

“Atalanta finished third last season ahead of both AC Milan and Inter and will play their home games at the Milan clubs’ San Siro. Zagreb came through three rounds of qualifying and are unbeaten in 11 games this season.”

The Independent: Champions League draw 2019: What Man City can expect from Atalanta, Shakhtar and Dinamo Zagreb

Lawrence Ostlere: “Manchester City secured a near-perfect Champions League draw with their most difficult challenge likely not to be opponents Atalanta, Dinamo Zagreb or even the tricky Shakhtar Donestk but the lengthy travel that comes with their soft Group C line-up.

“Journeys to Italy, Croatia and particularly Ukraine might push Pep Guardiola to rotate his side as he juggles European ambition with another Premier League title defence, but even then City should progress, comfortably so.”

 

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

Jeorge Bird: “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.

“The travel factor will be a cause for concern, but City should still be able to prevail.”

FIGHT 'TIL THE END: Go behind-the-scenes on the final 30 days of our 2018/19 title win

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Sky Sports: Goater: Pep will focus on defence in CL

Shaun Goater: “City will go about their business in the right way. When you see City play against other teams and get a few goals, they don’t ease off – they keep going.

“More importantly, I think they’ll want to come out of the group stage having been able to concede very little. Last season in the group stages, City conceded six goals.

“We know they’re going to score goals but can they come out and concede less?”

 

The Manchester Evening News: Michael Owen makes Man City Champions League prediction

Michael Owen (via BT Sport): "I think City, I think it's their time. They've been building towards it for a long, long time and it's certainly their priority.

"Of course, the Premier League and the Champions League are everybody's priority but City now are desperate for that. Liverpool are desperate for the Premier League, I think City are desperate for the Champions League.

"I just think that when you watch them now, they are a team that you struggle to see getting built. They've got experience with their manager, they've got more and more of it with their team. I just think it's their season.

"I think City are improving in that way. I think they can keep clean sheets and the ease in which they score goals is just devastating."

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View from the opposition

UEFA: UEFA Champions League group stage draw

Júnior Moraes (Shakhtar Donetsk striker): "I'm a little upset about Manchester City. Now it's three years in a row [we have been drawn against them].

“We have a balanced group and good chances to qualify from it. City, of course, are a cut above the rest of the teams.”

Arijan Ademi (GNK Dinamo Zagreb captain): "Manchester City are a team from another world but we can play against Shakhtar and Atalanta and look for some victories.

“I think we have fair chance against these two teams and I strongly believe that Dinamo can advance from the group stage."

 

Brighton and Hove Albion: Potter praises 'game-changing' Guardiola

Graham Potter: "He’s [Pep Guardiola] somebody who’s had a massive influence on the game and everybody looks at him.

“I can’t think of any manager who’s had as much of an impact on the sport wherever he’s gone – you only have to look at his work with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City.

“Before he came to the Premier League it was a division where people said ‘anybody can beat anybody’ – he’s changed that over the last few years, nearly 200 points or so later, it’s not quite the same and that’s his influence without a doubt.

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“I have huge respect for what they’ve done, I have of course come up against them last year with Swansea City but it’s a different team and environment in a different competition – we have a new challenge now.

“Their resilience is often overlooked because of the success they have, but it isn’t always about attractive football.

“They fight for everything in every game and every action, that’s a huge credit to them as a group.

“They’re leading the way in terms of how everyone should be, they’re the best in the country and every aspect of everything they do is at such a high level – it will be a really great test for us and it’s one we have to relish.”


125 Anniversary Collection

Daily Star: Fans love Man City's new 'gorgeous' 125th anniversary shirt - 'I'd sell a kidney!'

Owen Fulda: “Manchester City fans are thrilled with the special shirt released by the club to celebrate their 125th anniversary.

“The sky blue shirt forms part of an larger limited edition collection of Man City garments and accessories.

“Puma have gone to town with their collaborative efforts, including a pair of trainers, a cap, scarf and a football in the collection.

“The garments were released last night on the official website of the Premier League champions and some sizes are already sold out.

“Fans have taken to social media to praise the sleek design and the decision to pay tribute to the club's history.”


Transfer gossip

TalkSPORT: Celtic line up Mitchell Roberts bid as Parkhead side race Man City to defender's signature

Stuart Hodge: “Celtic are looking to pip Manchester City to the signing of highly-rated Birmingham City youngster Mitchell Roberts.

“The 18-year-old has impressed for the Blues' under-18 and under-23 sides and models his game on England international John Stones.

“The teenager is contracted at St Andrews for the rest of the season and the club is expected to cash in on him before his deal expires, with the Hoops lining up a bid according to the Scottish Sun.”

Men's Team

Champions League: Group C dates confirmed

Men's Team

Factfile: Champions League Group C opponents guide

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After learning our opponents for the group stage of the season’s Champions league, we take a closer look at the who Pep Guardiola’s side will face…

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