Depending on how it ends, the 2022/23 campaign could turn out to be Pep Guardiola’s best at Manchester City or his worst.
The Spaniard’s side are still in with a chance of winning the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup, but lifting the former two trophies in particular will be tough with Arsenal leading them in the league and Bayern Munich next up for them in Europe.
Here’s what’s coming up for them in their hunt for the treble.
They may not be battling it out at the top of the table as they have so often done in recent years but, with both sides playing catch-up in their respective title and top-four races, this will still be a huge game for both Man City and Liverpool.
The hosts will go into it as favourites given how much the visitors have struggled this season, but Jurgen Klopp’s side do tend to often be at their very best against Pep and co.
The Reds have lost just one of the last six clashes between the two clubs and have won three of them, including their last Premier League match in October.
This is, on paper, the easiest of Man City’s upcoming games, but football isn’t played on paper as some of their recent clashes with Southampton have made abundantly clear.
The Saints beat the Citizens 2-0 in the Carabao Cup at the start of 2023 and held them to draws in both Premier League matches between the two last season.
He may have many fond memories of his time in charge there, but Guardiola probably wasn’t overly happy when he found out he’d be reuniting with Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.
They are, in the eyes of many, the two strongest sides left in the competition, and whoever prevails in the tie will be the favourites to go and win the whole thing, so it’s fair to say that it’s a biggy.
Given the games that come on either side of it, Guardiola would probably like to rest players against Leicester, but doing so would be a huge risk given Man City can’t really afford any more slip-ups in the Premier League.
It may be one he thinks he can take though considering Brendan Rodgers’ side haven’t caused the reigning champions problems of late, losing the last three matches between the two, and have been poor this season.
Things didn’t go too well for Man City last time they travelled to Germany with RB Leipzig holding them to a 1-1 draw in the last round of the Champions League.
Add in the fact that Bayern haven’t lost a home game since October of 2021 and you get the feeling that the English side will need to travel to Munich on the back of a strong result in the first leg of the tie.
Brighton have long been punching above their weight, securing a top-half finish last season and fighting for a top-four spot in this one, but they’ve never caused Man City too many problems.
Since being promoted to the Premier League in 2017, they’ve lost 11 of their 12 matches against the Manchester side and have lost their last three by comfortable margins.