20 Dec A look at Manchester City’s quadruple chances
Pep Guardiola may have dismissed the idea but Manchester City remain in contention for an unprecedented quadruple this season.
The runaway Premier League leaders reached the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, are through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and will begin their FA Cup campaign next month.
Here, Press Association Sport assesses City’s chances in each competition.
It would take an extraordinary change in fortunes for City not to win the league. Guardiola’s side sit 11 points clear of closest rivals Manchester United after 18 games, having dropped just two points and won 16 times in succession. It is not just the results but the manner of the victories, with City averaging more than three goals a game. They appear on course not just to win the title but to do so in record-breaking fashion.
The holy grail for City’s owners might just arrive this season given the combination of their playing squad and Guardiola’s experience in the competition. Back-to-back wins over Napoli were the highlight of an impressive qualification campaign. City did suffer their only defeat of the season to Shakhtar Donetsk but were already guaranteed to top the group by then. Basel was a good draw for the last 16 and, although there are plenty of big beasts lurking, arguably none have looked as impressive this season as City.
City’s penalty shoot-out victory over Leicester on Tuesday put them through to the semi-finals. Guardiola has been fielding a lot of fringe players in the competition and they have needed penalties to make it through the last two rounds. The final four could well be City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, so City’s hopes may depend on whether Guardiola strengthens his side or not.
City begin their FA Cup campaign with a third-round tie against Burnley. If last season is anything to go by, Guardiola will take the competition seriously. He named strong City teams throughout and they progressed to the semi-finals before losing in extra-time to eventual winners Arsenal.