James Milner insists Manchester City can win the Champions League

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James Milner has declared that Manchester City are capable of winning the Champions League.

Since moving to the Etihad from Aston Villa in 2010, Milner has won everything in the domestic game. But there remains something missing in his trophy cabinet.

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Having lifted the Premier League title on two occasions - in 2012 and 2014 - the FA Cup in 2011 and the League Cup earlier this year, the Manchester club are still without a trophy on the European stage.

Speaking to The Guardian, Milner believes that it is a realistic belief for the club this season, he said: "I think being the club that we are, and with the players we have, winning it is the ultimate aim. But you never get too far ahead – you look at it a game at a time and start then.”

Steady improvement

Having first qualified for the Champions League for the 2011-12 season - after finishing third in the league - City failed to get out of the group in their first two attempts.

Dropping in to the Europa League during their debut season, they then finished bottom of their group a year later. Hardly an ideal start.

Last year - after a change of management, from Roberto Mancini to Manuel Pellegrini - City showed signs of improvement as they finished second in their group, behind defending champions Bayern Munich on goal difference.

They came back from 2-0 down at the Allianz Arena to win 3-2, with Milner scoring the winning goal on that day. However they fell at the next hurdle, losing to Barcelona 4-1 on aggregate. 

Milner believes that the experience has helped them grow as a squad, he said: “There are a lot of games we’ve played now, a lot that we have learned over the years we’ve been in it.

"We want to prove ourselves on the European stage and I believe we have a good enough team to do that."

Familiar faces

City open their Champions League campaign with a trip to face Pep Guardiola's Bayern side, the third time in four seasons that the two sides have been drawn in the same group.

The tie has thrown up some memorable games in the past, not least in 2011 when Carlos Tevez famously refused to come on as a substitute during his sides 2-0 loss to the German side.

The record stands at two wins a piece for both teams and City will be hoping they can bring the three points back to England tomorrow night.

Another side in their group this year that the Premier League champions know a lot about is Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen, who they faced in last seasons group stage, doing the double over their opponents.

Pellegrini's men will be hoping for a positive start to this years competitions as they look to become the sixth English side to lift Europe's premier trophy.

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James Milner
UEFA Champions League
Manchester City
Bayern Munich

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