CAN MANCHESTER CITY FINALLY WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE?
It’s the same story for the last fifteen years: Josep Guardiola’s team is the favorite to win the European Cup before the group stages, then they become even bigger favorites before the playoffs…and they don’t win.
Of course, this speaks more to the random nature of playoff soccer than to some inherent flaw in the way City teams have been lined up or managed by the coach.
However, if we simply say that City has been one of the four favorites in each of the last five tournaments, there is only a 24% chance that City will not win the tournament at least once in that time.
“A team other than” has beaten City every season so far, but turning a half-century of pure dominance into zero Champions League trophies is even more unlikely.
WILL ERLING HOLANN BE ABLE TO KEEP IT UP?
The 22-year-old City striker has scored 18 goals in 13 Premier League games. Last season two players scored more than 18 goals… IN AN ENTIRE BLOODY PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON.
The record for goals in a season of 38 games is 32, scored by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in the 2017-18 season. According to the betting market, Holann’s “more-or-less” figure this season is 40.
In other words, Holann’s average through the end of the season is such that he breaks the record for scoring eight goals. Did we mention that he’s only 22?
WILL BARCELONA FINALLY BE ABLE TO FINISH THE SEASON SUCCESFULLY?
Their summer was a complete disaster, as was their Champions League campaign. But despite selling out their future and failing in their home game against Inter Milan, Barcelona completely dominates La Liga.
They are two points ahead of Real Madrid, they have the best offense, the best defense, the best ball possession in the final third and the best pressing in La Liga.
They were the best in Spain in almost every important aspect of the game. Will they be able to beat Madrid for their first title since 2019? FiveThirtyEight gives a 66% chance of that happening.
CAN ANYONE IN GERMANY CATCH UP WITH BAYERN MUNICH?
Although the 10-time champions have only a four-point advantage in the table, the table lies to all of us.
Julian Nagelsmann’s team has a positive goal differential of 34 goals in its first 14 games, despite the fact that perhaps the best striker in the world (Robert Lewandowski) went to Barcelona in the summer.
No one in Germany has a better goal difference than +8. This league stopped being competitive a long time ago, and it won’t be this season either.