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4. Manchester City

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When it comes to favourites, Man City’s name doesn’t strike you. But Manchester City are real contenders to win the Champions League outright. If they don’t think they are, they should. Over the past two seasons they have stretched the excuse of struggling to adapt to the competition as far as it can go.

There have been some mitigating circumstances. Unkind draws left them with tough groups in 2011-12 and 2012-13 while Martin Demichelis’ red card in the first leg against Barcelona last season irretrievably altered the course of that tie.

But there can only be so many excuses when you have spent the amount of money that City have and, though they are once again in the toughest group, this is the season when they need to make a real impact on the competition.

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