Manchester City secured their place in the last eight of the Champions League with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev. Manuel Pellegrini's men more or less got the job done in the first leg and a goalless draw in the return fixture at the Etihad Stadium was enough to see the club reach the quarter-finals for the first time in the club's history. Yes, they didn't play tremendously well in that second leg but they closed the game out. In previous years, City might have crumbled under pressure - even against a side like Kiev.
Unfortunately, captain Vincent Kompany and Argentina international Nicolas Otamendi were forced to leave the field during their clash with Kiev after both players picked up knocks. The former was substituted after just five minutes while Otamendi lasted a little longer but exited before the half-time interval. The severity of both injuries is unknown but City supporters will be praying that both players aren't ruled out for any considerable length of time. If they are both sidelined for City's quarter-final clash, Pellegrini may opt for the experienced Martin Demichelis alongside Eliaquim Mangala.
As of March 15th, Manchester City are priced at 12/1 in the online betting markets to win the Champions League this season. It won't be easy but Pellegrini's men are capable of challenging in Europe's elite club competition if everything goes their way. City's star men, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Kompany, will all be crucial to their chances and they will need goalkeeper Joe Hart to be in fine form - just as he was in their 3-1 aggregate defeat to Barcelona last season. Hart will need to be at his very best if City are to advance to the semi-finals and beyond.
City will be tested against one of Europe's top superpowers and Pellegrini's men will need both luck and talent to advance against the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. City are England's last hope of winning the Champions League and a Premier League club has failed to conquer Europe since Chelsea lifted the crown in 2012, which is a major point of discussion. If Pellegrini's side are fortunate with injuries and play to their potential throughout the remainder of the competition, they could go on to win it but will need to work hard as a team and maintain concentration against the continent's top sides.
Next year, Pep Guardiola's Manchester City may find it easier to compete in Europe. While City can challenge this year, it's hard to see them winning the competition on current form - especially if Kompany and Otamendi are out for long periods. That being said, City do have enough quality to cover at centre-half and, with Sergio Aguero in fine form, it would be foolish to write them off completely. But unfortunately, they just don't seem to play consistently well against the big sides - which is the key attribute that is required to win this particular competition.