Manchester City are targeting their 5th PL trophy this term. The Sky Blues dominated the points table with 74-points after 32 games. Manchester United are tailing City with 63-points after 31 games. Although City are the favourites to lift the silverware this campaign, United may still be onto them.
Pep Guardiola was doing great with his squad rotation until last week. But that may not be the case this week on. As Citizens have some big games back-to-back in quick succession. This may impact their flow of football and United can take advantage of that.
We did see Pep make some sacrifices against Leeds United. In order to have his squad in full capacity for the game against Borussia Dortmund. The City also have the FA Cup semi-final game against Chelsea tonight. This will make squad rotations a hard task for Pep.
United on the other hand have more relaxed fixtures. If the Red Devils win tomorrow against Burnley, they will be just 8 points behind City with six games left. A scenario is similar to 2012, where City went on a last six-game win streak to lift the PL trophy. Pep and co will have to concentrate on the PL more to avoid a photo finish.
Manchester City dreams of a quadruple:
The Sky Blues may have a chance to end this season with a quadruple. Manchester City has been in top form lately in all forms of football. Pep Guardiola’s side been victorious in 27 of their last 29 games. This is a pretty great tally from the English club. However, winning a quadruple is not an easy task even in their current form.
And this is mainly due to the quality of the opponents than their squad depth. Pep undoubtedly has a strong lineup ready to deploy. However, the opponents they have in each cup competition are strong as well. City have a clear lead in the Premier League now. But if they fail to keep their form up, United may overtake them in a photo finish.
Tottenham Hotspur are a solid challenge for them in the Carabao Cup. In addition to this, City will face Chelsea next in the FA Cup semifinals. And will go against either Leicester City or Southampton in the finals if they triumph over Chelsea. The European competition is no different from this.
Manchester City will face PSG next in the UEFA Champions League semi-final. If they manage to come out victorious, City will face Chelsea or Real Madrid in the finals. They have strong competitors in all their competitions. City will hope to play wisely and emerge victorious from all competitions. However, it is not a simple task for the Sky Blues.
Pep Guardiola has a big task in his squad selection in the coming weeks. He must make proper squad rotations to have all his top players available for big games. And at the same time make sure not to go to games with a weak XI. We did see Guardiola make changes to his lineup in the last couple of games.
One major change that we may see is the introduction of Raheem Sterling. The winger came in as a substitute against Borussia Dortmund. And was able to make runs past the tired-out Dortmund defence. However, he was not able to finish a key chance that he took too long to ponder upon. This is a drawback of Sterling we have seen over the past years.
However, Sterling is likely to start against Chelsea tonight, according to the Independent. We may also see Zack Steffen make an appearance against Chelsea. Pep mostly prefers playing his second-choice keeper in domestic cups. However, we did see Ederson take over after Claudio Bravo’s unavailability. But, in recent domestic cup games, we have seen Zack Steffen make his appearances.
It is likely for Pep to give the young keeper a chance against Chelsea. The City’s tight defence has rarely given Zack any cause of worry in all of his appearances. However, tonight he may be able to show his worth in the clash with Chelsea.