The blues face Leicester City at Wembley on Saturday in the traditional season curtain raiser, before facing Spurs in North London a week later. The Champions League is due to start in September, with the blues looking to go one better than last season and win the competition for the first time in their history.
Here, we take a look at some possible teams the blues would face.
As Premier League champions, City are listed in Pot 1, alongside Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, German giants Bayern Munich, Italian Scudetto winners Inter Milan, Lique 1 champions Lille and Portuguese champions Sporting Lisbon. Joining them are Chelsea as current champions and Villareal, who beat United in the Europa League final last season.
And the unique situation, particularly with the French, Spanish and Italian leagues all having new champions than the regular teams, means some big names are listed in Pot 2.
Real Madrid and Barcelona both enter the competition in the second group, as do Juventus, PSG, Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund. Making up the numbers are United and Liverpool, who finished second and third in the Premier League respectively.
As always, City cannot be drawn against another English team, which means there’s a 50% chance of a trip to Spain, while group matches against Dortmund or PSG, both beaten by City home and away in the knock-out stage last year, could be ready for a grudge match against the blues. City last faced Juventus in 2015, when the Italians completed a Champions League double over the blues. However, City have never faced Sevilla in any form of competition.
Pot 3 is yet to be completed, however Porto, Ajax, RB Leipzig, Atalanta and Zenit St Petersburg are all guaranteed a spot in the group stage. City last met Ajax during the bleus miserable campaign in 2012, when they were beaten by the Dutch 3-1 in the away game, and drew 2-2 at home. The blues have never lost in four matches against Porto, and first played Atalanta in 2019, when City won 5-1, before drawing the away leg 1-1. City have never faced Leipzig or Zenit in competition.
Pot 4 is even less complete, however AC Milan and Wolfsburg have been confirmed as definite group stage contenders. The blues faced Milan in 1978 when they took a took goal lead at the San Siro, before being pegged back to 2-2. In the return leg, City cruised to a 3-0 win at Maine Road. Meanwhile, City have never faced Wolfsburg in any competition.
Who else could they face?
Either one of FC Salzburg or Brondby will make the group stages after they were drawn together in the play-off round. The rest depends on the results of the qualifying rounds, however there are still some well-known names in there.
Rangers could make it to the group stage if they overcome Malmo of Sweden in the qualifying round and either Olympiacos or Ludogrets in the play off stage. Monaco, who knocked City out on away goals after a thrilling 6-6 aggregate draw in 2017, face Sparta Prague in the qualifying, and will face either Genk of Belgium or City’s old friends Shakhtar Donetsk, should they overcome the Czech side.
And two bigger names in European football could come head to head in the play-off stage, should they defeat they qualifying round opponents.
Benfica and PSV Eindhoven could clash for a place in the group stages, but they have to get past Spartak Moscow and FC MidtJylland respectively. Midtjylland knocked Celtic out of the qualifying stage and will be remembered by the City faithful as the team that pushed the blues to the limit in 2008. Having beaten City in Manchester, the blues were seconds away from exiting the UEFA Cup in the 2nd qualifying round when an own goal saved the blues blushes. City won the resulting penalty shootout 4-2 on their way to a quarter-final defeat to Martin Jol’s Hamburg.
Whoever they face, City will need to draw on the spirit of last season’s incredible run which saw them win all but one of their games before reaching the final.
Who would you like to see City face in the group stage? Let us know your thoughts.