Bayern will be the toughest of the three opponents, and will fancy their chances of winning not only Group A but the entire tournament. Jupp Heynckes has had a strong start to his time back in Bavaria, and Die Roten have ominously dispatched of a number of Bundesliga sides already this season, with a 5-0 win over Hamburg setting the gauntlet down for the rest of Europe.
The Germans have an international cast of superstars of their own, and Mario Gomez is starting to prove himself as one of the continent’s top goal-scorers. Supplied by Franck Ribery and Thomas Mueller, the Allianz Arena outfit have the potential to score goals against anyone. Their downfall in 2010-11 was their defence, which seems to have been strengthened by the summer purchases of Manuel Neuer and ironically Jerome Boateng, who moved from Eastlands six weeks ago – the German side look back to their best.
City fans will accept nothing short of progression through the group, but the draw they have been handed means it will be no walk in the park for Mancini’s millionaires. The three teams they will face should test the English side and give them a few uncomfortable moments, in what should be a baptism of fire for the tournament debutants.
Gareth McKnight writes for Soccerlens.com.