The Premier League 2017/18 season has seen its usual share of thrill and spills. But the standout story in the top flight has undoubtedly been that of Manchester City who have been immense to date.
Pep Guardiola has shown his quality in guiding City to the summit of England’s top flight, reaching the final of the Carabao Cup, and still remaining competitive in the FA Cup and Champions League. Many experts now believe that City can go on to win all four trophies, which would be a record achievement
in English football.
At the time of writing, City sit comfortably at the top of the Premier League with a commanding 15-point gap between them and the second placed, Manchester United.
Guardiola has got them playing with a real attacking swagger and this is thanks to his ability to get the best out of individual players, and utilising them within the wider picture of his well-documented footballing philosophy. No other English team has come close to matching their standard this season and, while they have failed to match Arsenal’s Invincibles, it’s hard to argue against them lifting at least the Premier League trophy.
City are still very much in this competition after cruising past Cardiff in the Fourth round. A 2-0 win was only slightly marred by an injury to Leroy Sané and they are still very much in the mix to lift the trophy. The next team standing in their way is Wigan – who will be flying high with confidence after knocking on Bournemouth – but despite the magic of the FA Cup it’s hard to see City struggling to move on to the next round, where they could face tougher competition in the likes of Chelsea or Manchester United.
After beating Bristol City 5-3 on aggregate in an exciting semi-final, City will face Arsenal at Wembley on 25th February. The Citizens will go into the game as favourites but, as Arsenal proved in last season’s FA Cup final win over champions, Chelsea, anything is possible. The Gunners have also recruited well in the January transfer window and their new signings, most notably Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, will make them a tougher proposition.
The Champions League is the most coveted trophy in top-flight football and is undoubtedly the one that City want the most. Through to the knock-out stages, they travel to Basel in the last 16 on 13th February and will also go into this game as favourites to progress. As with the FA Cup, Guardiola’s team will be looking further down the line at tougher obstacles. Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and the only team to have beaten them so far this season, Liverpool, will be the clubs most likely to prevent them lifting the trophy in May.
City players’ confidence is high
There is a disparity at the club over their chances of winning the quadruple this season. ?lkay Gündo?an has openly expressed how it is making the team stronger, but Guardiola is not so sure. Speaking to the press, he recently said: “Four competitions, I don’t know if we will be able to do that.” In going for the quadruple, the manager’s concerns seem to rest with the build up of a hectic schedule and the effect this can have on his playing squad. He also seems at pains to keep his players from looking too far ahead and losing focus on the present.
What silverware can City expect to lift?
Considering their commanding lead at the top of the table and their consistent form, it would be a real shock if City fail to pick up the Premier League trophy. The Carabao Cup may not be as much of a guarantee but many would not bet against them lifting that as well.
Perhaps it is too early to offer a verdict on the FA Cup and Champions League, but if they can lift the Carabao Cup and wrap up the Premier League early they can shift all their attention to winning the remaining two competitions.
Even if City are not your team, it’s difficult to switch off Match of the Day when they’re playing. Their endeavours this season is attracting the attention of football fans all over the world and many will be following their journey to achieve the quadruple. It’s an undeniably fascinating odyssey that’s making everyone try to predict whether they will trip up or go on to create history. If you want to know what the experts think, sports betting site, Stakers.com, offers the latest game-to- game odds. With a welcome bonus offered at Stakers.com, you could place a bet either way.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side are chasing a quadruple this season
Will they do it?
Beyond Guardiola, City’s main strengths lie in its top-brass squad. As the schedule packs up, keeping their key players fit will be vital if they are going to lift all four trophies. Sané’s recent injury will be a concern and everyone involved with the club will hope that it’s not a sign of tiredness creeping into the squad. As the manager has already hinted, he will need to rotate his players if they are to have any chance of completing the quadruple.
Many will argue that City will win at least two trophies this season; the Premier League and Carabao Cup. The only niggling doubt to achieving an historic quadruple is the teams that remain in the FA Cup and Champions League, who are considered amongst Europe’s elite. Their recent Premier League loss to Liverpool will need to serve as a lesson if they are to overcome those hurdles.