Manchester City FC - Will they win The Quadruple In 2018?

Manchester City FC - Will they win The Quadruple In 2018?
Manchester City are in sensational form, destroying quality teams with  ease week upon week on four fronts; the Premier League, Champions League, League Cup and FA Cup. The question many fans and experts are now asking is could City become the first team ever to win “The Quadruple”? 

The pinnacle achievement of any football team is to win the “Treble”; their domestic league and cup competition, plus the strongest continental competition available to them, which for European teams is the Champions League. Manchester United famously accomplished that feat in 1999, and are the only English club to do so. Other European teams to win the treble are Celtic, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona (twice), Inter Milan and Bayern Munich.

England is the only country in Europe with four major trophies in a season; the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup (or EFL Cup, currently known as the Carabao Cup) and the Champions League. As stated earlier, only Manchester United have won the treble in the history of English football, but this season, thanks to the complete dominance of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team, speculation is mounting that they could become the first team ever to win the Quadruple. 
Guardiola says that such a thing is “impossible”, and claims he wants to focus on one game at a time, that he is taking nothing for granted, and that his team could yet have a meltdown and win nothing. However, anyone who has followed the career of Guardiola knows that the Catalan is ferociously ambitious, loves to win trophies and set standards, and would surely love nothing more than to accomplish something no other manager has achieved during his time in England; to win the mythical Quadruple.  

Can City do it? The bookies make Manchester City the favorite in every individual competition, but actually make City a long shot to win all four (16/1 Betway). Below, breaks down City’s chances in each competition and sees just how realistic winning the Quadruple would be. 

The League (Carabao) Cup 
At the time of writing, City have just reached the League Cup final, where they will play either Arsenal or Chelsea. The final will be held at Wembley on February 25, and will Guardiola’s first in English football. 

While Guardiola rested key players during this competition and as a result just squeaked through on penalties in both the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals, he fielded a strong side to defeat Championship side Bristol City 5-3 on aggregate in the Semifinals, and now they are through to the final, expect Guardiola to pick his very best team to win what would be his first trophy in England.

The FA Cup
The FA cup is a much tougher competition to win than the League Cup. Teams from the Premier League enter the competition in the Round of 64, and because the draw for each round is random, two teams from the Premier League could easily face each other in this round, as proved to be the case when Manchester City faced Burnley this year, winning 4-1.  The random draw system continues throughout the competition, with no guarantee given to playing at home or away. Historically some teams have won the FA cup by playing every round at home until the final, while others have achieved the same but played every game away until the final.

After beating Burnley in the Round of 64, Manchester City are scheduled to play Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium. Should they get past Cardiff City, they will still have the Lasts 16, Quarterfinals and Semifinals to get through before reaching the final.

In order for Manchester City to win the FA Cup, much will depend on how favorable the draw is each round, if they have the advantage of playing at home, and if the squad is healthy enough to allow for Pep to field his best team in a competition which is not as important to the club as the Premier League or the Champions League. 
Should Guardiola be forced to rest players in an FA Cup game against a strong team who are more “up for it”, it could spell the end of the Quadruple. 

Premier League
At the time of writing this article, Manchester City are already 11 points clear of second placed Manchester United with only 14 games to go and barring a 1996-style Newcastle United-esque meltdown, should cruise to their third Premier League title this decade.

Champions League 
Like PSG, Manchester City have looked sensational in the Champions League Group Stage, but now they are in the Round of 16, the knockout stage of the completion. While City should progress easily enough against FC Basel, waiting for them will be teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus - battle-hardened UCL veterans, teams that know what it takes to reach Champions League finals, and to win the trophy itself. 

Of course, Guardiola won the event once as a player and twice as a manager, but that was with Barcelona, a team used to competing in the Champions League every year. The only player in the City squad with Champions League winning experience is substitute keeper Claudio Bravo. 

Guardiola surely wants to become one of the handful of managers who have won the Champions League with more than one club and join the likes of Ernst Happel (Feyenoord and Hamburg), Ottmar Hitzfeld (Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich), Jose Mourinho (Porto and Inter Milan), Jupp Heynckes (Real Madrid and Bayern Munich) and Carlo Ancelotti (AC Milan and Real Madrid), and that will surely happen, just probably not this year. 

While the bookies make City favorites to win the trophy in 2018, this could be a year too soon for the Sky Blues and their Champions League ambitions.

The chances of Manchester City winning the Quadruple this season are virtually zero, and indeed the likelihood of them becoming only the second English side to win the Treble are also unrealistic. However, City will lift two trophies this season; the League Cup and the Premier League winner’s trophy (16/1 betway).
As for that mythical Quadruple, chances are it will never happen. 

Freetips staff 07 February 2018

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