Real Madrid Manager Carlo Ancelotti has picked out Manchester City as favourites to repeat in the Champions League, following their first ever success in the competition last year.
Speaking ahead of their Champions League opener against Union Berlin, Ancelotti gave an update on injuries to Dani Carvajal and Arda Guler, amid fears the former may not make the Madrid derby on Sunday. Los Blancos were beaten comfortably by Manchester City in the semi-final second leg last season, and Ancelotti continues to believe they are the strongest side.
“They are new. But if they’re here, it’s because they did very well last year. They play with a lot of intensity. A lot. We’ve studied them well. They don’t have notable individuals, but they are a team.”
Carlo Ancelotti on Union Berlin. #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/P5JmnpjS20
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“They are favourites, because they have a squad that allowed them to win last year and they haven’t changed much. But the Champions League, in the final stages, always has surprises.”
“We have never thought that we are favourites, as City will not. I have said that they are, because they are the current champions.”
With Erling Haaland leading the way, and few of their big rivals looking stronger, with perhaps the exception of Bayern Munich, City will no doubt feel they have a shot. They would be just the second side in history to win successive Champions League titles, after Real Madrid. Los Blancos will feel they have a chance against anyone, but with no top-class number nine, they may have a few less backers than usual.