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It’s safe to say the 2017/18 season has been dominated by one side – Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s chargers have won an incredible 20 out of 22 league matches, breezed into the Champions League last 16 and stand on the brink of making their first final of the season in the shape of the Carabao Cup.
But the Sky Blues now face one of their toughest tests of the season in the shape of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
And as the Citizens make the daunting trip to Anfield, we ask, can Manchester City go a whole season unbeaten?
Records have tumbled this season for City but perhaps the biggest achievement was their 18-match winning streak in the league – the longest in Premier League history.
That incredible run was stopped by a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace but they are still a very comfortable 15 points ahead of Manchester United in second.
A winning formula has been struck at the Etihad this campaign and that can be very intimidating for any opponent heading into a match against the Sky Blues.
STRENGTH IN DEPTH
Last season Pep Guardiola was hamstrung by a lack of strength in all positions including a centre-back and full-back.
The Spaniard was forced to rely on the likes of Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna for a majority of the season but this time around that’s not the case.
Heavy investment in the full-back positions as well as going forward has left Guardiola with an embarrassment of riches across the board.
And it’s that strength across the board which could allow them to rotate in key areas to keep their main players fresh during the crunch end of the season.
Goals have been going in left, right and centre for the boys in blue this campaign, notching up a remarkable 64 already in the league.
A chilly cool-down after fantastic competition!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 10, 2018
Manchester City hammered Liverpool 5-0 back in September last year, something Jurgen Klopp’s men would not have forgotten.
But what else has made City better than anyone else is their ability to score important late goals – including winners against Southampton, West Ham, Huddersfield and Bournemouth all coming in the last 10 minutes.
Only Arsenal have achieved an entire season unbeaten in the modern era back in 2003/04 – something many sides have tried and failed to replicate.
Chelsea lost just the once in 2004/05 season (ironically to Manchester City) and Manchester United went unbeaten until February in the 2010/11 season, only to lose a handful of matches on their way to the crown.
Manchester City have been imperious in their ability to kill off teams but as the season goes on, teams will be more determined than ever to stop City becoming the new invincibles.
It’s a long season – no doubt about it. City could play more than 55 matches on their way to an unprecedented quadruple – legs could start to tire.
— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) January 10, 2018
Injuries will occur and indeed have already occurred with Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy on the side lines – more could follow.
As City advance in the FA Cup and Champions League, their league form could dip as they become stretched.
CAN IT BE DONE?
Manchester City certainly have the talent to replicated Arsene Wenger’s 2003/04 vintage but with the amount of games left still to play, it will be a monumental achievement from the Manchester club.