MANCHESTER, England — Pep Guardiola has looked at Manchester United’s Treble winners to see if he can learn anything that can help Manchester City’s quadruple bid.
The City boss has played down their chances of winning four trophies this season, but admitted he has looked at successful sides from the past, including Sir Alex Ferguson’s team from 1999 and Bayern Munich when they won the Treble in 2013 immediately before his arrival.
“I’m quite curious about the teams that achieved something good, for the reason why and what they have done,” said Guardiola, who won a Treble with Barcelona in the 2008-08 season. “It’s clear that winning the Treble is not easy.
“It happened in Germany, I went there the year after Jupp Heynckes got it. I like to know the way they did it. And every time, when I look at these kind of big, big issues, always it’s tough.
“There are always moments where you will be lucky, and having personalities in the big moments can help the team to achieve. But I cannot compare us with what United have done. They have done what we haven’t.”
City have the chance to take a significant step towards another trophy on Saturday by beating Brighton to secure a place in the FA Cup final (live at 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+), having already won the Carabao Cup and in the hunt for a Champions League trophy and the Premier League title.
The first team, including fitness doubts Sergio Aguero and Benjamin Mendy, arrived in London on Friday night and will stay five days in London in all with the Champions League first-leg clash with Spurs on Wednesday.
But Guardiola said he won’t take any chances with his selection with the potential for another 13 games if they are to get anywhere near the quadruple.
“Sergio is going to play when he’s really, really fit,” Guardiola added. “The doctors are going to tell me tomorrow if he’s a risk of being injured and after that whether it could be three or four weeks out. If that is the case I’m sure he’s not going to play.
“It’s a semifinal. It’s an important game and we’ll play with the best side possible.”
Guardiola also rejected any suggestions that he felt under any pressure with the possibility that they could finish the season with just the Carabao Cup.
“I feel the pressure in November or December when you are away, saying ‘wow, it’s five or six months left,’ out of one competition or not in the next round of the Champions League,” he said.
“Now it is a joy, an incredible moment. We’re not relaxed, but if we don’t enjoy these moments…we’re trying to get to an FA Cup final and then keep running.”
Meanwhile, Kevin De Bruyne said he won’t be back to his best before the end of the season, but he doesn’t care as long as he can help win more silverware.
The Belgium midfielder has suffered two significant knee injuries this season and picked up a hamstring problem just before the international break.
He started City’s last two victories in the Premier League, but he expects to be in and out of the side as they compete for the quadruple.
“I’m probably not [going to be at my best], not compared with last year,” he told reporters. “I don’t know what my level is going to be but to be fair I don’t really care. Now it’s the business end I just need to do what I can do to help the team win games. If that means playing five games or 10 games, I’ll take it all. It’s been that kind of season.
“I don’t expect to play every game. You see the amount of changes we made [against Cardiff on Wednesday]. It’s going to be important that everybody stays fresh because with the schedule we have and the importance of the games coming up, we will need almost everybody probably.”
Despite the hectic schedule coming up, De Bruyne, 27, said the players are excited rather than worrying about tiredness.
“It’s like 12 or 13 cup games — it makes it exciting,” he added. “In the end maybe we lose everything but at least we are here at this stage. It’s been incredible, so just keep on going, try to win Saturday and hopefully go to another final.
“Everything is important at this stage. To come to the semifinal, we just have to play one game and then you can rest the FA Cup until the end of the season.
“For me personally I’ve not been there yet, I’ve not won it. It would be nice to go to the final and compete for a title but we will be sharp on Saturday.”