Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has called Manchester City the favorites to with the UEFA Champions League this season. The manager believes City’s unmatched squad depth gives them an edge in the competition.
Manchester City beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the final to win their first UEFA Champions League trophy last season. Before beating the Nerazzurri in Istanbul, City picked up an emphatic 5-1 victory over 14-time European champions Real Madrid in the semi-final.
Carlo Ancelotti Backs Manchester City To Win Another Champions League
City have started the 2023-24 season right where they left off last season. They have won all five of their Premier League fixtures so far and are seen as one of the frontrunners to win the UEFA Champions League. When asked to name his favorites for the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League, Los Blancos manager Ancelotti also backed the 2022-23 Treble winners to go the distance this term.
“Manchester City are favorites because of the squad and above all because they won the Champions League,” said Ancelotti (via Madrid Universal).
“But in the final part there are surprises. At the moment they are the favorites. Madrid will compete until the end. I don’t think we are favorites. City don’t think they are favorites either, but the fact that they won it last year makes them favorites.”
City will begin their UEFA Champions League defense with a clash against Red Star Belgrade at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night (September 19).
Ancelotti Believes Real Madrid Will Need Intensity Against Union Berlin
Real Madrid will take on newcomers Union Berlin in their 2023-24 UEFA Champions League opener on Wednesday night. The Whites are heavy favorites to clinch maximum points, but Ancelotti does not think it will be a straightforward affair. Commenting on Madrid’s Group C opener at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Italian said:
“The Champions League is special for us. We want to start the group stage well and tomorrow we have the opportunity. Our opponents are well organised, solid and convincing. We will need a lot of intensity.
“The objective is to compete until the end. We can say that without too much pressure, we can do it. The objective is to get through the group stage, round of 16 and quarter-finals.”
Like Manchester City, Madrid have also enjoyed a perfect start to the 2023-24 season, winning all five of their La Liga fixtures.