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Could Manchester City win the quadruple?

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12th February, 2019 02:28 IST

How many trophies will Pep Guardiola add to his staggering haul this season?

After Manchester City comfortably dispatched Burnley in the FA Cup a couple of weeks ago, their manager Sean Dyche suggested that Pep Guardiola's men could win every trophy they are competing in, describing them as 'clinical' and asking the question:

"Who is going to stop them winning everything if they're in that mood?"

It was a fair question, but City were soon brought back down to earth with a sobering defeat away at relegation-threatened Newcastle United. This gave Liverpool the opportunity to go seven points clear at the top of the Premier League and seemingly put the title out of City's grasp.

But Liverpool wobbled. Two successive draws gave City a sniff and after this weekend's fixtures, which saw them thump Chelsea 6-0, they are just three points behind Jurgen Klopp's men.

So can they do it? Can they go one better than Sir Alex Ferguson's great treble-winning side and win all four competitions.

They undoubtedly have the potential to do it, with their strength in depth in the squad and the tactical nous of Guardiola on the touchline.

But there is a reason that it has never been achieved before. It only takes one sloppy performance for the team to crash out of a competition and City have looked far more vulnerable this season than they did last.

Their defeat against Newcastle was particularly surprising. 1-0 ahead after less than 30 seconds and with arguably their full strength side out, they failed to press home their advantage and were deservedly beaten in the end.

They have bounced back brilliantly from that upset but the point remains - no matter how good they are even these players can have an off day which can prevent them making history.

In this article, we assess their chances of achieving the seemingly impossible.

#1 Premier League imageCan Manchester City retain the Premier League title for the first time?

After winning at a canter last season, Manchester City have a real fight on their hands to retain their title with Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side three points clear and only having lost once this season.

Both teams remain in the Champions League, but Liverpool have not prioritised the domestic cup competitions in the same way Guardiola has and therefore City's fixture list is much more congested than their title rivals.

Of all the trophies they are in the hunt for, this is the one that remains, currently at least, out of their control.

They need their rivals to slip up at least once and must make sure that they take advantage.

City can only make sure that they win all of their matches and hope to be there to take advantage if Liverpool slip up again.

At this stage of the season, you would have to make the team from Merseyside very slight favourites.

However, all the pressure is on them. City have won three Premier League titles, while Liverpool are desperate to win their first.

Every time they have had a chance to open up an unassailable lead over City they have slipped up.

City - and Guardiola - know how to win titles and they'll be enjoying the thrill of the chase.

#2 Champions League imageManchester City lost to Monaco in the Champions League two seasons ago

After cruising through their Champions League group with relative ease their reward was a tie against German side Schalke.

There is very little doubt that the Champions League is the trophy that the City players, manager, fans and owner crave more than any other.

Under Guardiola, there has been an improvement in Europe but they still haven't come close to threatening to win the competition.

In 2016-17, his first year in charge, they went out on away goals to Monaco, after drawing 6-6 on aggregate, and then last season, they lost to Liverpool after enduring a nightmare first half at Anfield which saw them trail 3-0 in the first half of the first leg, a deficit they were unable to overcome.

They undoubtedly have the players in the squad capable of winning the competition. What may also work in their favour is that some of the traditional European powerhouses such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich don't look as dominant as they have in recent years.

Keeping their key players fit may be the decisive factor in City getting over the line in this competition.

Arguably their three most important players, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero have all had issues with injury this season. If they can keep them fit then they have a great chance to add a European trophy to all their domestic success.

#3 League Cup imageSergio Aguero was in fine form as he scored a hat-trick against Chelsea

City are the defending champions in this competition after Pep Guardiola's men swatted aside Arsenal in last year's final, to win his first trophy as a manager in English football.

They will have the chance to win it again when they take on Chelsea in the final of the competition in two weeks time.

Given their comprehensive thrashing of Chelsea in the league over the weekend, City would have to start the game as heavy favourites.

However, they would be unwise to underestimate Chelsea. Since the Roman Abramovich era began, no matter what turmoil the club is going through, the players have always maintained the canny ability to win trophies.

They have won ten cup competitions over the last decade and a half and with players of the calibre of Eden Hazard in their ranks they can always cause an upset but you would have to make City heavy favourites going into the game.

#4 FA Cup imageCity eased past Burnley in the previous round of the competition

The one domestic trophy that Guardiola has yet to win, City have a favourable draw in the fifth round away at Newport County.

They last won the competition under Roberto Mancini and they will be desperate to win it again. Given their next two fixtures, the first leg of their Champions League tie against Schalke and the League Cup final, Guardiola will surely rotate once more, giving players like Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus the opportunity to impress once more.

With Manchester United drawn against Chelsea in the next round, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal already out of the competition, the trophy is there for the taking. 

However, as long as they remain in the hunt for the league and the Champions League this will likely be bottom of Guardiola's priority list but it will still be a trophy they want to win.

The verdict imageRaheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva have been in fine form this season

So can they do it?

They have an amazing squad of players and arguably the best manager in world football but the challenge of taking on such a punishing schedule could see them come unstuck at some point.

Liverpool could pip them to the title, Chelsea could beat them in the League Cup or they could fall short once again in Europe.

It's one of football's biggest cliches but anything really can happen in a one-off game.

They could end up with no trophies at all.

But with players like Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne, and a manager like Pep Guardiola that seems unlikely.

Success breeds confidence and confidence breeds success. They really do have an opportunity to achieve something truly special. But it will take more than talent and hard work.

Every successful side needs a bit of luck. If they get that then they might just do it.

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