So here we are again – it’s time to haal uit en wys in the football season.
This is the time when manne have to start wearing their big-boy pants and prove that they have what it takes to win trophies.
Today we’ll learn who plays who in the European Champions League and Europa League quarterfinals, by the end of the weekend we’ll know the FA Cup final four and the PSL and the Premier League have about 10 games left to play.
For Manchester City, an unprecedented quadruple is still on the cards.
Pep Guardiola’s record breakers have won 24 of their last 25 games, making them favourites for three of the major prizes mentioned above, while also looking ahead to the League Cup final against Tottenham next month.
So close are City to a third league title in four years, that they need to win just four more times to wrap it up.
But it’s the battle for the rest of the top four and European qualification that is getting most fans excited.
With City 14 points clear at the top, the rest of the top-10 teams are all within 16 points of one another, so anything can still happen.
So let’s take a look at the clubs still in the running for a trophy and see what their chances are of lifting it.
WITH 57 league points, the second-placed Red Devils look set for Champions League football next season – having to lose at least four times to miss out on a top-four finish.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team still have to face top-nine rivals Tottenham, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Leicester during their run-in though and that could prove tricky.
They take on Leicester for a place in the FA Cup semis this weekend and faced a huge test of their silverware credentials against AC Milan in the Europa League last 16 last night.
United have some mental blocks to hurdle whether they made it into the continental quarterfinals or not, though.
After losing three semifinals last season and failing at the same stage in the League Cup this term, crunch time has been too much for captain Harry Maguire and his span.
LUCKY Leicester have defied the odds again with their third-place position.
But even with an eight-point cushion, a top-four finish is still not a nailed-on certainty.
Last season, they were in a similar position before lockdown, only to lose their rhythm after the restart and miss out on the Champions League.
This term, injuries could expose their lack in depth again and while it’s great to see Mzansi-born Khanya Leshabela make his debut this week, coach Brendan Rodgers will be hoping more regulars return to the side.
An FA Cup quarterfinal against Man United this weekend will be a massive test for the Foxes.
THE Blues are back on track for a top-four finish since replacing Frank Lampard with Thomas Tuchel at the helm.
An unbeaten start under the German has seen them climb up the table, into the last eight of the Champions League and get a shot at the FA Cup semfinals when they host Sheffield United this weekend.
Chelsea’s solid progress has been built on a stingy defence that has conceded just two goals in their last 16 games.
But it’s not all honeymoon vibes at Stamford Bridge, with goalscoring still a problem.
Up until Wednesday night’s 2-0 Euro win over Atletico Madrid, the Blues had scored more than one goal in a game under Tuchel.
The boss will take it as a good sign, but they still have to convince, with penalty taker Jorginho being their joint top scorer in the league with Tammy Abraham and goalshy Timo Werner topscoring in all competitions with just 10 goals to his name.
DAVD Moyes has turned West Ham into this season’s Prem surprise package.
With a game in hand on fourth-placed Chelsea, they are still in with a shout for Champions League football next season.
It will definitely be a massive upset if they manage to even hold on to fifth and book the automatic group-stage Europa League place.
The Hammers are an awkward opponent for most of the Prem’s more stylish teams and will be hoping they can get the better of their rivals in the run-in.
Arsenal, Leicester, Chelsea and Everton are all dragons to be slain if Moyes’ manne big are to get a fairytale finish.
IT SAYS a lot when Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp declares that overtaking fourth-place Chelsea, who have a five-point lead on them, is an “almost impossible” feat.
The Premier League title holders are having a nightmare defence and that has shaken the belief of the players.
A run of six straight league defeats at Anfield has all but destroyed the fear factor they earned over the last three seasons.
Heavyweight clashes with Arsenal and United are coming up in a tricky run-in, meaning the Champions League could be their only ticket back to the elite competition.
Of the rest of the chasing pack, Everton, Tottenham and Arsenal are all still have shots at silverware.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees will have to find their sweet point this weekend when they face City in the FA Cup and show more consistency in the league for a good finish.
Arsenal also only have one realistic ticket to Europe, by winning the Europa League.
Meanwhile, Spurs have a way back to the Europa League by making the League Cup final against City.
But after taking a 2-0 lead into last night’s Europa League last-16 clash with Dinamo Zagreb, winning the competition outright will get them back in the Champions League.