Arsenal and Man City’s Champions League fates debated as Mikel Arteta faces uphill battle

The eight Champions League last 16 ties are all now at the halfway stage following Wednesday night’s games.

Manchester City and Arsenal are the only Premier League teams remaining in the competition after Newcastle and Manchester United were knocked out in the group stage. City kept their hopes of retaining the trophy on track in their first leg against Copenhagen.

Pep Guardiola’s side fell behind at the Danish champions, but fought back to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the tie. Arsenal meanwhile have work to do heading into their second leg against Porto.

Despite dominating possession, the Gunners fell to a 1-0 defeat at the Portuguese side, who scored a 94th minute winner. So with English hopes in the balance, we asked our team of writers ‘How far do you think City and Arsenal will go and have you changed your mind on their chances?’

Darren Lewis

Manchester City can retain it. Absolutely. Everybody knows just how difficult that is to do but three things weigh heavily in their favour. First, the experience of having been there, done it and come within touching distance.

Not just having won it last season but having sampled the bitter taste of defeat to Chelsea. It has helped them to identify and navigate the pitfalls of the course and the distance.

Second, the return of the pack. Kevin de Bruyne, Erling Haaland and John Stones are back in business after interrupted seasons following last year’s triumph in the Final. All three are key members of the spine that brings so much stability to the City machine.

And third, the growth of the rising stars. Phil Foden’s goals, guile and ball carrying ability still doesn’t get the credit it deserves because there is so much else to admire in City blue. Also because there are so many others impressing in his position at other clubs.

Manchester City are the favourites to retain their title(MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

PSG are an attractive bet to finally win the Champions League in Kylian Mbappe’s final season(Getty Images)

Arsenal fell to a dismal defeat to Porto in the first leg of their last 16 tie(Getty Images)

Bayern Munich, usually among the favourites for the Champions League, are enduring a dreadful season in Harry Kane’s first year at the club(Getty Images)

City have been boosted by the recent return of Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne from injury(AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid look likely to be City’s biggest competition(Getty Images)

Porto have not been tipped to hang on to their lead over Arsenal(Getty Images)

City are looking to win the Champions League for just the second time in their history(Getty Images)



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