With their FA Cup semifinal win over the weekend, Manchester City’s incredible season rolls on. They’ve already bagged the League Cup and remain alive in the FA Cup, the Premier League and the Champions League. The closest any English team has come to a quadruple was Manchester United in 2009, who were also alive in four competitions before losing their FA Cup semifinal to Everton… and they lost the Champions League final to Pep’s brilliant Barcelona.
Guardiola says a quadruple is “almost impossible”… but it’s likely that he’s saying this to temper expectation and lower the pressure on his side during an incredibly challenging run of fixtures this month. In reality, City have been the bookmakers’ favorite in all four competitions… all season long, and they’re in touching distance of doing what no English club has done before.
They’re favorites in the FA Cup where they will face Watford, whom they have beaten in their last 10 straight meetings. In the Champions League, they will face a Tottenham side in relatively poor form, and whom they’ve beaten in their last three straight meetings. And then, they’ll face either Juventus or Ajax en route to the final. Avoiding Liverpool or Barcelona until the final has given them a more favorable path.
The trickiest task might be the league: they have a game in hand and are only two points behind, but that extra game is the derby against Man United. They must also face Tottenham again and Crystal Palace - who beat them this season, and who ended their winning streak at Selhurst Park last season.
But of course, Liverpool also have tricky fixtures, with Chelsea up next, a match against Wolves on the final day and their own European campaign to worry about. Liverpool’s recent history of falling at the final hurdle bodes well for Guardiola.
City have a maximum of 12 games remaining - 6 in the league, 5 in the Champions League and the FA Cup final. It would be absolutely incredible if they won all 12, but they could afford to lose two of the two-legged European ties, and maybe even a league game, and still win the quadruple.
Seeing as they have won 22 out of their last 23 games, they have some of the best squad depth in Europe, and they clearly have the confidence and belief to keep winning, then you really can’t rule them out of picking up four trophies this season.
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