This season could see Manchester City take home three trophies this season, as a blue cloud looms over Old Trafford and United’s famous treble of the 1998/99 season.
Manuel Pellegrini has sat in a number of high-profile dugouts over his managerial career but has had little success in major tournaments. The Chilean has previously managed Spanish clubs Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga, having to face a Barcelona side that were at the peak of their powers. Having missed out on major titles in his La Liga years, Manuel Pellegrini managed to enjoy a 75 per cent win ratio with Real Madrid in 2009 and so far this season, the Chilean has a similar record at ManCity. If he can build on this in the New Year, then he will certainly be looking to win a number of trophies this season.
The Citizens have never looked a threat in Europe, despite their dominance in the league. Each year, fans have been frustrated by the lack of success in the Champions League. Despite a league title and numerous cup victories, the hierarchy at the Etihad club seem to crave this European glory. Finally, this season could see them get their hands on a trophy in Europe, as well as building on this with both the league title and the Capital One Cup.
Having beaten LeicesterCity 3-1 in Round 5 of the Capital One Cup, Pellegrini’s side have been made the bookies’ favourites to win the competition, as they prepare to face West Ham. City have already convincingly beaten West Ham in the league this year and the Chilean boss will be looking to emulate this, come the New Year when these two sides meet in the Semi-Final.
The likely opponents for ManCity in the Final are their fierce Manchester rivals, as they face struggling Sunderland. City have won three of the six League Cup encounters against United, however they lost in the Semi-Finals back in 2010. This won’t worry Manuel Pellegrini too much however, having already put four past David Moyes’ side at the Etihad in the league.
Pellegrini has a lot of firepower to pick from in his midfield and up front, it’s just a question of whether or not he can sort out the inconsistent defence that has been the only blot on what has been an excellent start to the season for City. Sorting out the back four is the priority, but if they manage to do that, City will have a very strong side competing in both the Capital One Cup and the Champions League this season. A few signings in January to bolster their starting XI and give the Chilean boss some cover for the likes of full-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richards – both of whom are injured at the moment – could see them winning a lot of silverware.
Any other year and their Champions League opponents Barcelona would be the neutral’s favourites to progress, but even the fans at the Nou Camp are nervous about the outcome of this fixture. City’s attempts to do the treble will no doubt be tough, but performances both in the league and in the Capital One Cup this season have been very convincing and you’d have to be a brave person to bet against them.
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