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ESPN: Gundogan: 'It's mission possible!'

Ilkay Gundogan says City have the desire to win an unprecedented quadruple in bucket-loads, but will need luck, too, to make the mission possible.

The German midfielder believes that getting the rub of the green is vital if the Blues are to end the campaign with another three trophies.

Jonathan Smith of ESPN writes: “Ilkay Gundogan has said Manchester City have the desire required to become the first English team to win the Quadruple.

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“City's hopes of becoming the first side to defend the Premier League title in a decade remain in their own hands following a 2-0 win at Fulham on Saturday.

 

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“Pep Guardiola's side, who have already won the Carabao Cup, face 14 matches in the next two months if they are to also claim the league, the Champions League and the FA Cup, and Gundogan said they would need luck.

‘Obviously it makes you feel excited,’ the Germany international told reporters. ‘It's always possible. I wouldn't say it's impossible.

‘You need to be lucky, you need to have certain things which you are not able to control and, most importantly, you need to have the desire to go in every single game. And we had that [at Fulham].

‘We have it, I'm sure about that. The past showed it already. If we didn't have it, then we wouldn't be in all four competitions.’

Meanwhile alleged City target Declan Rice might not have been wearing the England jersey for that long, but already he has identified one City player that gives him the chills as a defensive midfielder.

 

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A MEN story (via the Daily Mail), reads: “West Ham United midfielder Rice has named Man City star Raheem Sterling as the best player in England training and described him as 'frightening' to play against.

“Rice has enjoyed an excellent campaign this season, playing consistently well throughout and bringing much needed defensive solidity to an attack heavy Hammers side.

“He's played so well that after switching national allegiances from the Republic of Ireland, Rice earned his first England call-up and made his debut for Gareth Southgate's side.

“While on Three Lions duty during the recent international break the 20-year-old trained with Sterling and he's full of compliments for City's star man.

‘I'd have to say Sterling. What he does with the ball is frightening,’ Rice said after being asked by Jamie Redknapp who the best player in training was.

"In the small-sided games, five-a-sides, if you've got him on your team you've won before you've even started! Everything about him… he's impossible to stop.

 

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‘He's in the leadership group now. All the lads love him.

‘He's like Harry (Kane), always giving advice and trying to help where he can with the younger players in his position.

‘I see him talking a lot with Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi. For them to learn off him, that's special.’

Looking at a couple of our other teams, here’s BBC Sport’s take on City’s last-gasp win over Liverpool in the FA Women’s Super League.

It reads: “Manchester City kept the pressure on Women's Super League leaders Arsenal, thanks to a 95th-minute winner from Jennifer Beattie against Liverpool.

“Claire Emslie put City ahead before the half-hour mark with a deflected shot from the edge of the area and Steph Houghton almost made it two at the break, crashing an effort off the bar.

“A Houghton handball allowed Courtney Sweetman-Kirk to level from the spot.

 

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“Beattie's dramatic late header moved them back to within a point of Arsenal.

“With the Gunners beating Birmingham City 1-0 in Sunday's early kick-off, the pressure was on Nick Cushing's side to secure all three points against the eighth-placed Reds.

“City's persistence against a stubborn Liverpool resistance eventually paid off, with Beattie nodding home a Caroline Weir free-kick.”

And a City junior team will bring silverware back to the Club this week, as The National report: “The third staging of the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup has concluded with Sharjah FC under 16s enjoying double delight.

“As well as winning their category they will visit the Etihad Campus, the home of the Premier League champions after being picked from a draw of all the winning six age groups competed at Zayed Sports City.

“The winners were: Manchester City Academy in the under 8s, City Football Schools Abu Dhabi in the under 10s, City Football Schools Abu Dhabi in the under 12s, Melbourne City Academy in the under 14s, Sharjah in the under 16s, and Abu Dhabi Thistle won the girls’ under-14s age group.

“A 130 teams in total competed over the two days of action. City's academy director Jason Wilcox said: ‘Representing our academy from Manchester, it’s good to participate in events outside the UK and see the quality of football being played in this region. The competition this year has been outstanding from that perspective.’

Meanwhile, former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba had told Goal that Pep Guardiola has taken Kevin De Bruyne’s game to another level.

 

 

The MEN report (via Goal): “Drogba believes that the 27-year-old has gotten ever better under the stewardship of Guardiola.

‘I think for Kevin he was really young, and in the team, we had all these big names,’ the Ivorian told Goal.

‘He decided to go and play. In football, it is straightforward, the more you play, the better you become. The more you can understand the game, the more you can read the game and become confident.

‘That’s exactly what happened with him. When you have a manager like Guardiola who is helping him to understand and read the game faster, wow, he has become a different player."

Finally, among the daily round-up of pundits and former players predicting this season’s title race outcome, the Blues have found an ally – albeit a reluctant one.

Live4Liverpool write: “Liverpool’s Champions League-winning left back John Arne Riise has said that he believes Manchester City will win this season’s Premier League title.

“Pep Guardiola’s side sit in pole position at the top of the tree after their victory over Fulham, and Riise feels that the Reds will ultimately fail to catch them.

 

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‘I still think City’s going to win it,’ he told beIN SPORTS. ‘I hope not, I really hope Liverpool can do it, but I just think City are too strong.

‘I know City are going to meet [Manchester] United and Tottenham, so Spurs has a good chance to stir up the title race for a little bit. But I just see that City… they just don’t stop.

“If Liverpool met City in the seven games to go I would believe more, because then you can beat City. But I just don’t see City losing games.’

Let’s hope he’s right!

More gossip, opinion and rumour tomorrow…

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