Legendary former Manchester City defender Richard Dunne believes Liverpool and Chelsea represent the greatest threat to his old club’s hopes of finally winning the Champions League this season.
Pep Guardiola is approaching the end of his sixth season at the Etihad Stadium and looks set to clinch a fourth Premier League title in the coming weeks.
Bookies believe City are all but certain to be crowned champions but you can get a best-price 1/8 with SBK for them to retain their title.
Certainly it would take a monumental turnaround for City to let slip their advantage at the summit.
Second-placed Liverpool, who have a game in hand on City and will play them at the Etihad in early April, are 6/1 with William Hill to pip Guardiola’s team to the Premier League trophy.
Despite their domestic glory, City have suffered repeated heartache on the highest stage in Europe.
After finishing runners-up last season, though, losing to Chelsea, Dunne is hopeful that City can achieve what has become a Holy Grail by winning the greatest club prize in European football.
But he believes six-time European champions Liverpool and the current holders, Chelsea, could stop them once again.
The ex-Republic of Ireland international said: “You’d put City, Liverpool and Chelsea as the three favourites and on any given day they can beat each other.
“I think Man City have the strongest squad, they can rest players and have quality off the bench to make things work.”
Guardiola’s troops are favourites with every bookmaker to win the European Cup this season.
They destroyed Sporting Lisbon 5-0 in Portugal in midweek in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie.
You can get 5/2 with Unibet for City to go all the way and lift the trophy in Russia on May 28.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are second-favourites at 9/2 with SportNation who have defending champions Chelsea further out at 10/1.
Dunne added: “The disappointment of last year means the players will want to go one better. That’ll be a huge motivator for them.
“You can look at the Premier League and easily have them as favourites, but in the Champions League, it comes down to one off moments, luck, injuries, desire. With all that covered though, you put City at the top of the list for sure.”
Dunne, meanwhile, reckons City are building one of English football’s great dynasties with their domestic success.
He added: “If they win it this year, it’ll be four in five years, which in the Premier League isn’t common.
“The beauty of the Premier League has always been how competitive it has been, as winners change hands every year or two years.
“For a club to dominate it like City have been is a tough ask, but what they’ve done since Pep’s been there has been outstanding.
“The football and style and play they’ve got is the best the league has ever seen.
“Obviously, when Man United where successful they were a strong side, but they never had anywhere near as much dominance as City have had.
“People doubted whether Pep’s football was suited to the Premier League, but he’s proven them wrong and changed the style of football throughout England.
“You see so many managers trying to copy his style of play, so the impact he’s had has been massive.”