The Pep dilemma: City or Bayern for the Champions League?
At the end of the campaign, Pep Guardiola will leave the Allianz Arena for English pastures after the Spaniard agreed to join two-time Premier League champions Manchester City on a three-year deal.
The Bayern Munich boss, who joined the Bavarians in 2013, is on the cusp of securing a third successive Bundesliga title but the Champions League has eluded him throughout his time in Germany and the players want to make it the perfect farewell. But now, Bayern are in the semis and could face City in the final if both clubs advance past Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in their respective fixtures. Here’s why Pep should go all out to win the competition – and why he shouldn’t worry about beating his new side.
Until the 30th of June, Guardiola remains the manager of Bayern Munich and for that reason, he should stay committed to winning as many trophies as possible with his current side.
The Spaniard may have an agreement with Manchester City but that doesn’t mean he should take it any easier on them in the semi-final against Atletico. Besides, City have got to beat Real Madrid – a team that has won this competition ten times in the past. Manuel Pellegrini’s City are certainly no shoo-in to reach the final and set up what could be an intriguing encounter in Milan on May 28th.
As of April 25th, Bayern Munich are priced at 15/8 to win the competition in the Champions League odds and Guardiola’s men will fancy their chances, especially with a full strength squad for the remainder of the campaign.
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Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are both beginning to find their feet after injury lay-offs and Robert Lewandowski is in tremendous form for both club and country. While rumours suggest Pep may try and convince Lewandowski to move to England this summer, his loyalty remains to Bayern Munich as they attempt to win a sixth European Cup crown.
Furthermore, a City triumph would just pile even more pressure on Pep’s shoulders ahead of his impending arrival. Before Guardiola arrived at Bayern, Jupp Heynckes had led the club to the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League treble.
Unfortunately for Guardiola, this meant that expectations rose even further and some could claim that Pep has underachieved during his time at the Allianz Arena. Right now, City have already won the Capital One Cup this season and a first Champions League success for the club would put Pep on the back foot before he’s even arrived.
Realistically, Pep must be longing for a Champions League title at Bayern Munich in order to enhance his legacy as one of the greatest managers in their recent history. However, only a Bundesliga-European Cup double will suffice this season and Guardiola has got it all to do to ensure that they advance past Atletico. If they need to beat City in the final, so be it.