Gary Neville hopes Manchester United can deny Manchester City the treble this season when they meet in the FA Cup final while Jamie Carragher does not see any problems for City after they play against “tough” Real Madrid.
Pep Guardiola’s side can still win the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup this season and would be the first English team to win a treble since Manchester United in the 1998/99 season, when they also won the same set of competitions.
Man City are one game away from winning another league title and can do so this weekend against Chelsea on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
But before that, they have to navigate the second leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday against Real Madrid, with the tie finely poised at 1-1.
They will then face Manchester United in the FA Cup final on June 3 at Wembley, which could be the final piece of their treble puzzle.
On the latest Monday Night Football, Carragher and Neville reflected on Man City’s bid for the treble, with the former not foreseeing any slips from Guardiola’s side for the remainder of the season.
Carragher said: “It just feels like every game is so easy for them now.
“I thought Everton would be their hardest game because they were fighting for their lives, it’s a hostile atmosphere and it came in between the Real Madrid games. I thought Guardiola might change a few more players but he didn’t.
“Obviously, Real Madrid is a tough game, but they are a better team than Carlo Ancelotti’s side. It’s a case of whether it happens on the night for them but after that, I don’t see a problem at all.”
Neville is hoping his former Man Utd side can stop Man City from winning all three trophies, and says the city rivals will be disappointed if they do not complete the treble.
“It’s all huge for Man City from now until the end of the season”, Neville said.
“They will be disappointed if they don’t win the treble because they will feel they are favourites in every single game, they are in great form, and everyone is buzzing.
“I am just happy that Manchester United have an opportunity to try and stop Man City [winning the treble]. That’s what I wanted out of the FA Cup semi-final when United went to penalties against Brighton.
“The one thing I’d say about Wembley is, and City can defy logic when it comes to playing well, I think it is a hard stadium to play well on.
“Generally, most teams don’t play as well at Wembley as they do their home ground and Manchester United have to hope that on that day somehow it is more difficult for City. I’ve never seen really amazing performance at Wembley that often for England or for any other team. It’s tough.
“Man Utd will fight for their lives that day and you just never know.”
Is it more about Man Utd winning the FA Cup or stopping City?
Sky Sports’ Gary Neville on Monday Night Football:
“If Erik ten Hag was to win two trophies in a season and winning the trophy goes hand-in-hand with stopping City.
“If he was to win the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup in his first season and get into the Champions League where there is still a job to do, that would be an unbelievable season.
“For these players here at Man Utd, they shouldn’t be thinking about anything to do with the treble.
“Obviously, players and fans may think about that from a City point of view, but these players should be focusing on making sure they are in Ten Hag’s squad next season.”
Neville reflects on winning the treble with Man Utd
Sky Sports pundit Neville was part of the Man Utd side that won the treble 14 years ago, and reflected on a similarly crucial period in their success.
He told Monday Night Football: “The period from April 7 to April 21, I don’t think I’ve ever had a more enjoyable, difficult or challenging two weeks in football.
“Juventus were the best team in Europe and Arsenal were the best team I’ve ever played against at Premier League level. They were absolutely sensational and beat us to the double the year before.
“We had four games against those two teams in a two-week period.
“Once we came through that, and it was by the skin of our teeth – we were 2-0 down away at Juventus and basically out of the cup final as Arsenal had a penalty in the last minute which Peter Schmeichel saved before Ryan Giggs goes on to score one of the greatest goals you’ll ever see – the belief was unbelievably high.”
He added: “You feel something is happening. There’s a countdown going on in the dressing room.
“We had a good squad and we were tight. We knew there were challenges in the Champions League final because Roy Keane and Paul Scholes were suspended.
“There were massive challenges to come. Arsenal were never going to give in and always take us to the wire in the league.
“In every part of our FA Cup run we played Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Newcastle. We didn’t have it easy. In the Champions League we played Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Inter Milan.
“All the way through we played the top teams.
“For City, to do it would be an incredible achievement. To beat Real Madrid, to beat Man Utd and to beat this Arsenal team, who have had a sensational season, they’ll be saying the same thing that they’ve done it the hard way and played tough teams.”
May 17: Real Madrid (H) – Champions League
May 21: Chelsea (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4pm, live on Sky Sports
May 24: Brighton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
May 28: Brentford (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
June 3: Manchester United (N) – FA Cup final, kick-off 3pm