0Shares0000Pep Guardiola saw his Manchester City side thrash Schalke 7-0 on TuesdaySWANSEA, United Kingdom, Mar 15 – Pep Guardiola remains coy about Manchester City’s chances of winning the quadruple, but his side face Swansea in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday standing just 16 games away from a clean sweep of all four major trophies.Guardiola’s team moved closer to the unprecedented silverware haul on Tuesday as they advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 7-0 demolition of Schalke in the last 16, second leg. City have already won the League Cup, beating Chelsea in last month’s final, but that has not quenched Guardiola’s thirst for more success.A victory at second-tier Swansea would see City move into the FA Cup semi-finals, with the Premier League title race set to go down to the wire.City are one point clear of second-placed Liverpool and although the reigning champions would be knocked off top spot if the Reds win at Fulham on Sunday, they will have a game in hand.In a bid to keep the pressure off his players, Guardiola has tried to talk down the possibility of City winning all four trophies, something that no team in the history of the English game has managed.“I said so many times, and I know you are generous and thank you so much guys, but every time you make that comment we lose a competition, so I think you provoke me in that way so, the next one we will see,” joked Guardiola recently when asked about the prospect of a quadruple.Swansea, currently mid-table in the Championship, are not expected to pose a major threat to City, but sterner tests lie in wait in what promises to a be a dramatic finale to the season.The Champions League has provided some painful moments for Guardiola, who won the tournament twice as Barcelona boss but has not lifted the trophy since 2011.– Traditional powers –Pep Guardiola celebrates as goal hero Riyad Mahrez looks onYet with English clubs constituting half of the eight teams in the Champions League quarter-finals, there are few opponents remaining who can intimidate City, especially with traditional powers such as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich having already exited the competition.Even so, given the magnitude of the achievement City are chasing, the hype surrounding his team at present appears muted.The last — and, so far, only — English club to win the treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League was Manchester United under Alex Ferguson in 1999.Guardiola himself achieved the equivalent in Spain with Barcelona in 2008-09.Yet, Guardiola has done such a good job of playing down expectations in almost every scenario in which City have found themselves this season that the issue of a possible quadruple has barely been on the news agenda.On the occasions that he has been asked about such a possibility, Guardiola has claimed that, to be considered among Europe’s elite, City first have to ensure they are regularly competing in the latter stages of the big competitions.“The big clubs, that is the big difference, as I said many times –- what is the best clubs in the last decade? Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona — these are the best three teams in the last decade in Europe,” said the Spaniard.“Why? Because every season they win the league, every season they win the cups, every season they are there, because they are the best.“It’s difficult to imitate them, being in the competition, it doesn’t matter which one –- until the last stages.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
1 Steven Gerrard is fit again for Liverpool 1 GoalkeeperSimon Mignolet’s change in fortunes since being dropped a few months ago have been promising, but the lack of competition for a spot in goal means there is little choice for Rodgers.DefenceEmre Can is likely to return to the back three, having been deployed in midfield last time out against Blackburn. Skrtel’s recovery from a nasty looking head injury means he is pretty much nailed-on to start, while Rodgers will have a decision to make over whether to select Sakho or Dejan Lovren as the third centre-back. We’re backing the Frenchman to get the nod.MidfieldGerrard’s return to fitness means it will be a straight fight between him and Joe Allen for a spot alongside Jordan Henderson. Despite the club legend’s days coming to an end, sentimentality will not enter Rodgers’ mind. Latest reports suggest that Allen will continue in the middle, with Gerrard on the bench. Alberto Moreno will start at wing-back, with Lazar Markovic and Raheem Sterling the two choices on the opposite flank. Sterling has operated in this position over the past two outings, so don’t be surprised to him there again.AttackWith Sterling tipped to start at wing-back, it seems as though it will be business at usual at the other end of the pitch. Daniel Sturridge is nearing his best again, while behind him Philippe Coutinho has been in excellent form and Adam Lallana is looking like a solid signing.Liverpool fans, how do you think you’ll line-up? Comment below… The race for a top four spot took on a new dimension over the weekend, and for Liverpool, they can throw themselves even deeper into the mix with victory on Monday evening.First though, the Redmen need to get past a Swansea City team in mixed form, but following an eight-day break, Brendan Rodgers’ side will certainly fancy their chances.Liverpool’s resurgence over the second half of the season has been something to behold, with the Merseysiders unbeaten in their last 12 league matches, and given their recent run of seven victories from eight suggests they enter this clash as huge favourites.The big news, though, surrounds talismanic captain Steven Gerrard, who is available once again having missed seven games with a hamstring injury.Whether Rodgers will offer a return to action for the club hero remains to be seen, however, there doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the same level of debate over his other fit-again stars.Martin Skrtel is available, despite being stretchered off with a head injury against Blackburn. Also back in the fray is Mamadou Sakho, but both Lucas Leiva and Jordon Ibe remain absent.Below is how Liverpool could line up:
Strange eventually went into business for himself, working as a contractor in home construction and remodeling, with a specialty in woodworking. “He was more than a contractor; he was a craftsman,” Strong said. “He never rushed in his work. He took his time in doing things.” For 35 years, Strange met a group of friends for breakfast every day but Sunday. “He loved to talk to anybody. He could be sitting at the airport and start talking to the person sitting next to him,” Strong said. “Most of the people he met for breakfast met him because he started talking with them somewhere. He was somebody who would listen to you. He loved to learn about people. “He was a great storyteller, too, and had a story for everything.” Take your time, be it work or pleasure, was the motto of Gordon “Gordy” Strange, a longtime Reseda resident who died Oct. 29 of emphysema. He was 77. “He was never in a rush to get anywhere. He loved to take the back roads instead of the freeway – find the back roads in order to smell the flowers and visit with people,” said his stepdaughter, Sharen Strong. Strange served 3“ years in the Navy before going to work for McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica. There he met Madeline Hawkins Bess, who became his wife of 35 years. “He was very calm, likable, very easy-going. His smile and his personality are what attracted me,” said Madeline Strange. “He was such an honest person, very loving and kind. Everybody loved him.” Gordon Harrison Strange was born Jan. 9, 1928, in Archer City, Texas. He moved with his family to Snyder, Okla., where he grew up riding horses on his family’s farm and driving a hearse for his father’s mortuary business. While horses were a lifelong passion, Strange also enjoyed golf, Western movies, country music, crossword puzzles and reading. He took trips to Hawaii, Samoa and Copenhagen, and traveled in his motor home to visit family in various states. Strange is survived by his wife, Madeline; three sisters, Artella Cook, Terry Colaluca and Brenda Tissaw; stepchildren, Jerry Bess, Sharen Strong, Randy Bess and Linda Murray; 12 step-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren. A funeral was held Wednesday at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth. Strange was buried Friday in Snyder, Okla. — Holly Andres, (818) 713-3708 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!