Pep Guardiola has laughed off claims that Manchester City can win the Champions League by naming three sides he feels have a better chance that his own team.
Despite a surprising home defeat to Lyon in their first group game, many think this will be the year that City truly make their mark in a competition that they are yet to progress beyond the semi-final stage.
City were also among the favourites this time last year, but came unstuck when they faced off with Premier League rivals Liverpool, who beat them home and away in their quarter-final tussle.
Guardiola – who will sit down with Phil Foden and try convince him to sign a new deal – reckons you cannot put a price on big-match experience in Europe and he has used that formula to name Juventus, Real Madrid and his old club Barcelona as the three teams to beat in this season’s Champions League.
“If we are favourites it means we are good, really good,” he said. “But the best the club has done is a semi-final and I don’t know if we are ready, to be honest. When you believe you can win, then you have to do it.
“AC Milan, who will soon return to the Champions League, have won it seven times.
“The favourites are the clubs with a bigger history and tradition than us.
“Real Madrid and Barcelona and also Juventus have been to the final twice recently and are getting closer every time.”
City face Shakhtar Donetsk in their next two fixtures, with Guardiola’s side travelling to Ukraine next Tuesday October 23, with the return at the Etihad on November 7.