Joleon Lescott delivers his verdict on Man City's Champions League group
Former centre-back Joleon Lescott believes this season is the first time in years that Manchester City are not favourites to win their Champions League group.
The former England defender has made the admission ahead of City getting their 2021/22 European adventure under way against German outfit RB Leipzig at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.
City have been joined in Group A by French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain, Leipzig and Club Brugge, meaning it will not be an easy group for Pep Guardiola's side to make their way out of and into the last-16.
On paper, City and PSG are likely to be the favourites to lock out the top two spots and progress to the knockout stages, but Lescott, who believes Chelsea and PSG are the favourites to win the competition this season, believes City are not the favourites to top Group A.
"It’s probably the first time City won't be favourites to top the group for a few years," Lescott said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"Along with Chelsea, PSG’s front three of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi should make them equal favourites. If they’re firing, I don’t know if anyone stops them.
"They have good balance, there’s the addition of Sergio Ramos and I love Marquinhos.
"There are players who, if they play well, you just don’t stop them and PSG have three up front and one at the back.
"The only blessing in disguise is that, if City don’t finish top of their group, they can’t face PSG and then they can’t face any of the English teams until the quarter-finals."
As outlined above, City will get their Group A fixture list under way against Leipzig on Wednesday, but it is the clash with PSG later this month that is the one everyone is looking forward to.
“I don’t think you can try to picture a scenario where you stop those three," Lescott added. "The set-up of the team and the unit at the back, you’re going to need every player on it at any given time.
"Prevention is better than cure, so you need to be able to nullify the supply chain. Ederson will have to make saves and every City player is going to have to play well.
"But it’s not going to be an individual at the back or one specific factor that makes you beat PSG, collectively you have to be on it.
"They will be tough games and a good marker of where City are."