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Eye opener for Man City as Europe may not be such a doddle

| 15.09.2011

The two Manchester clubs may have had little trouble tearing it up in the Premier League this season, but on the evidence of their opening Champions League games, European domination may not come so easily.

Both Manchester United and Manchester City have won their opening four league fixtures, while having positive goal differences of 15 and 12 respectively.

Manchester United may have the excuse that for their draw in Benfica they made eight changes to the team that dismantled Bolton, leaving out form players including Ashley Young and Anderson.

And the fact they were playing away from Old Trafford against their biggest group rivals means that a point is not such a bad result.

However, Manchester City may not be feeling so comfortable as virtually their full-strength team was unable to beat Napoli at home.

Group A certainly looked the toughest and most open of the eight groups when the draw was made and City may now agree that this is the case.

Napoli arrived at Eastlands with a sound defensive gameplan and then had the attacking talent to strike when enjoying a rare venture forward.

Manchester City arguably are yet to face anyone domestically possessing either of these traits, let alone both.

Bayern Munich and Villarreal are likely to prove no easier opposition and Mancini may now decide to rethink his strategy.

One such change may be to introduce more width in Europe as the pace and directness of Adam Johnson, in particular, could be a good outlet.

Dropped points at home are far from an ideal start for City if they want to finish in the top two in the group to progress in the competition.

However, Manchester City’s odds are still 4/11 to qualify and 2/1 to win Group A, with Bayern favourites following their victory in Spain.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are 1/7 in the Champions League betting to top Group C.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.