Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City’s bid for an unprecedented quadruple will be defined by Wednesday’s Champions League showdown with Tottenham and their following two Premier League games.
Guardiola’s side are in contention to win all four major trophies after lifting the League Cup, reaching the FA Cup final and staying in touch with Premier League leaders Liverpool.
City’s next obstacle on the road to football immortality comes in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Tottenham as they bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit at the Etihad Stadium.
Even if they beat Tottenham to make the semi-finals, there will be no time for City to rest on their laurels as they face Spurs again in the Premier League on Saturday before heading to Manchester United the following Wednesday.
With Liverpool two points clear of City, who have a game in hand, Guardiola acknowledged the next seven days will decide whether his team take their quadruple chase into the final days of the season.
“Definitely. If we don’t win these games we will be out of two competitions. I’ve had this feeling for weeks,” Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday.
“Last season in this period we were already champions. This season we had an incredible opponent in the Premier League with Liverpool. Both teams deserve to be champions, but just one is going to get it.
“After what we did last season, I’m surprised that we have 83 points right now. The target is 98, without that we will not be champions.
“Tottenham are incredible and we don’t have rest. We played nine, 10 or 11 games more than Liverpool. Even with that, I like this challenge.”
Having won the Premier League in record-breaking fashion last season, Guardiola could have been forgiven for focusing on Europe this term as he looks to win the Champions League for the third time as a boss – and the first since his 2011 triumph with Barcelona.
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