De Bruyne says City will struggle to reach quadruple target
LONDON – Kevin De Bruyne admits the strain of chasing the quadruple means Manchester City are almost certain to fail in their historic bid.
Pep Guardiola's side edged closer to an unprecedented clean-sweep of all four major trophies as they beat Brighton 1-0 in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Having already won the League Cup, City are through to their second domestic final of the season.
They are also embroiled in the Premier League title race, trailing leaders Liverpool by two points with a game in hand.
On Tuesday, they face Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-final first leg in north London.
Yet Guardiola described the quadruple attempt as "almost impossible" after the Brighton game.
City midfielder De Bruyne agrees that the congested fixture list presents a tough obstacle due to mounting mental and physical strain.
"It is nearly impossible. I don't think it is impossible to win every game, (looking) game by game, but if you see the fixtures coming up - I think every game we play now we are going to be at a disadvantage physically and mentally," he said.
"We will have a game before the other teams, the other teams will have a rest. The Champions League is the same. So, it is difficult."
City are now staying in London ahead of their next testing task at Tottenham.
To underline his point, De Bruyne noted that Tottenham, who City also face in the Premier League this month, have had a free weekend ahead of the clash.
"Every game is difficult. We just now have to prepare for Tuesday," De Bruyne said.
"We know Tottenham played their last game on Wednesday so they will be more fresh than us. We have to prepare ourselves mentally and physically to be ready."
The game will be Tottenham's second at their new stadium, but De Bruyne insists City won't be troubled by the passionate atmosphere.
"The stadium doesn't matter. They are going to be excited because it is a Champions League quarter-final," he said.
"Spurs are a very good team. Everybody knows how they play. They will not change.
"It is going to be exciting, it is going to be tough because we play them three times in 10 days."
While City were involved in FA Cup action over the weekend, title rivals Liverpool returned to the top of the table with a win at Southampton.
City are still favourites because of their game in hand, but De Bruyne does not think the Reds will allow any margin for error.
"Probably they will (win their games). We just have to look at ourselves and try to win game by game. We will see in the end what happens," he said.
"No matter who is champion or second, we've had a great season. What can you say if you get 92 or 95 points and in the end you are second?
"Normally that's historic in the Premier League, to get these points. Imagine being second with it."AFP