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A look at the key questions surrounding Manchester City's quadruple bid

A look at the key questions surrounding Man City's quadruple bid
© Reuters
City are in the Carabao Cup final, the last four of the FA Cup and Champions League and are closing in on the Premier League title.

Manchester City's bid for an unprecedented quadruple remains on track after they secured their place in the Champions League semi-finals with victory over Borussia Dortmund.

Here, the PA news agency looks at what they could accomplish and if they could come unstuck.

Is winning four trophies really realistic?

City won the domestic treble two years ago
City won the domestic treble two years ago (Peter Byrne/PA)

With a maximum of 12 games to go there is still an awful lot for City to do to deliver a quadruple. But Wednesday's win in Dortmund cleared a major hurdle as this is the first time they have advanced beyond the quarter-final stage of the Champions League under Pep Guardiola. Wrapping up the Premier League title appears a formality at this stage, even after last week's surprise home defeat to Leeds, so the focus for fans is on the cup fixtures which will come thick and fast in the coming weeks.

Who else stands in their way?
By the end of the month, City could find themselves on the verge of a historic achievement or picking up the pieces of their dreams. Four of their next six fixtures come in the cups – starting with Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against a Chelsea side revitalised under Thomas Tuchel. A week later they will take on Jose Mourinho's Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final before heading to the French capital to face Paris St Germain in the first leg of their semi-final three days later.

Can anyone really stop them?

Manchester City v Leeds United – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Leeds celebrated an upset victory at City last week (Michael Regan/PA)

City have been like a juggernaut since the turn of the year, with 28 wins from their last 30 matches. However, as the two defeats to Manchester United and Leeds have shown, there is always the potential for a slip. They face a maximum of 12 more games this season, but six of those would be in cup competitions where there is no margin for error.

So what could go wrong?
Guardiola has tried to shut down talk of the quadruple but if they overcome both Chelsea and Tottenham, it may become hard to ignore. Guardiola has managed his squad well so far, making a handful of changes to keep his players fresh, usually with no obvious loss of momentum. But when he went as far as seven changes for the visit of Leeds it came at a price – a warning for the rest of the season.

Are there no weaknesses?

Manchester City's Rodri reacts after a missed chance
Manchester City's Rodri reacts after a missed chance (Michael Regan/PA)

It is difficult for any opponent to pinpoint a weakness. If there is one it is perhaps a failure to score the goals their domination often warrants. A plan could therefore be to absorb pressure and look to catch City cold with a sucker punch, but that is not so easy in practice. It may take other factors, such as injuries, suspensions or fixture congestion, to unsettle them.

Is this finally the year for them in the Champions League?
Europe has been their undoing in recent years and Guardiola's tactics have fallen short. There is no doubt they are good enough to succeed on that stage but they have a monkey on their back they must remove. Reaching the semi-final was a big step, but it gets no easier from here.

How do they prioritise the competitions?

City are bidding to win the Carabao Cup for a fourth year in succession
City are bidding to win the Carabao Cup for a fourth year in succession (Mike Egerton/PA)

Guardiola always says winning the Premier League is his number one objective but, given that competition looks all but wrapped up, recent selections show his focus is turning elsewhere. Of all the challenges that remain, the tight turnaround between the Carabao Cup final and the away leg of the Champions League semi-final in Paris looks a major one. It will be fascinating to see how Guardiola handles it.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34255471244780
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd331910464352967
3Leicester CityLeicester34196961392263
4Chelsea341710753312261
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham341771055441158
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs341681060382256
7Liverpool33159955391654
8Everton33157114542352
9Arsenal34147134637949
10Aston Villa331461348381048
11Leeds UnitedLeeds34145155052-247
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34119143346-1342
13Crystal Palace33108153456-2238
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton34813133539-437
15Southampton33107164159-1837
16Burnley3499163147-1636
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3499163656-2036
18Fulham34512172545-2027
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom34511183165-3426
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3452271860-4217

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