Guardiola excited

Guardiola excited about City’s title-defining trio of games

Manchester City had a typical March before winning the treble last season. They played four times, winning two Premier League and two cup matches 16-0 on aggregate. Though simple, it signaled competitors they meant business.

A year later, this month might decide Pep Guardiola’s three-pronged war, but it will be harder.

United arrive for the Manchester derby on Sunday, followed by games against Liverpool and Arsenal, a Champions League last-16 second leg against Copenhagen, and an FA Cup quarter-final at home to Newcastle.

Guardiola consistently says the Premier League is the hardest to win, needing consistency few teams can match. City has won the trophy five times under him, setting new benchmarks.

City needs momentum to repeat last season’s success. The points matter, but winning three crucial Premier League matches might affect the run-in psychologically.

“How nice,” Guardiola said of the schedule. This is better than the other. The key players are everyone on our team.

Everyone is so important, and it’s nice to have this fixture against United to qualify for the Champions League quarterfinals, then Anfield, and then before the international break we have Newcastle, our fourth match this season, to reach the FA Cup semi-finals. Since arriving here, we’ve worked hard to have these moments.”

In recent weeks, City’s foolishness lost them a win over Chelsea and complicated their win over Brentford. They have scored three in three Premier League meetings and want to correct that in the derby.

Erling Haaland scored five against Luton in the FA Cup, shocking defenders nationwide. Haaland, the league’s most prolific striker, will determine City’s April success regardless of who is in and out of form. No matter how great Arsenal and Liverpool are going, Haaland has the best scoring record.

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City dominates England, and Guardiola can trust his squad to win. Guardiola says, “Eighties was Liverpool, 90s was United and now we are for many years, winning seven Premier Leagues in the past decade, 11, 12 years, but it’s happened.”

“No country or club has completely controlled and dominated everything in 50, 60 years. We strive to extend what we’re doing for many years, notably the consistency that was shown against Luton.”

Although Jürgen Klopp is leaving and Arsenal may win their first title in 20 years, City are quietly approaching.

City drew three and lost one in mid-November, making many question their ability to follow up a lengthy season with another tough 10 months. They have lost four points since mid-December and rarely look like giving up more.

Kevin De Bruyne returns after five months out after injuring himself against Burnley on the opener. The Belgian adds confidence to a confident team. He gave Haaland four midweek assists.

Opponents fear a City club that has proven their worth in big moments. Liverpool has one league trophy in 34 years and Arsenal has had a barren two decades, so City’s progress will worry them. From mid-February to late May last season, City won 12 league games straight, stopping only when they won the title.

Liverpool or Arsenal must beat City this month to depose City. Guardiola will take advantage of this occasion to disrupt City. Does he like these times? “Of course, they are best.” They frequently conclude City is greatest.

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