Meet the opposition | Manchester City
As Swansea City prepare to host Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup, we take a closer look at Pep Guardiola’s Citizens.
What’s their story?
The Premier League leaders have been the dominant force in English football over much of the last decade and – after seeing Liverpool take the title from them last term – they appear firmly on track to reclaim it this season.
They have won eight major honours during Pep Guardiola’s tenure as manager, and they are still in contention for a quadruple of trophies this season.
The club have several major honours in the trophy cabinet, having won the first division and Premier League on six occasions, they have also won the FA Cup six times with seven League Cup trophies to their name. They also won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970.
Their resurgence this century followed on from a period where they dropped down to the third tier in the mid-1990s, with a dramatic play-off win over Gillingham marking a turning point.
How’s their form?
Ominous. City are unbeaten in 21 games in all competitions, and their impressive 4-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield at the weekend was their 14th in a row.
It’s a run of form that has put the Premier League title destiny in their hands, and kept them in the running for four trophies this season.
Who’s the boss?
Pep Guardiola. Joining the club in July 2016, the Catalan has enjoyed no shortage of success during his time at the Etihad.
A classy and diligent midfielder during his playing days, Guardiola came through the ranks at Barcelona's La Masia and went on to become a pivotal figure in Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team’ that won a number of major honours in the early to mid-90s.
Returning to manage the Catalan giants in 2008, he became the first manager to guide the club to a treble-winning season in only his first year in charge and would win a remarkable 14 trophies in his four seasons at the helm.
Moving on to German club Bayern Munich in 2013 - following a year out of management - he made history by winning the title in the quickest time in Bundesliga history, with seven matches remaining in the campaign. There were three league titles and two German cup triumphs before he made the move to the Etihad.
Two Premier League titles, an FA Cup success and three League Cup triumphs have followed, along with two Community Shields.
Who’s the captain?
Fernandinho. The Brazilian has been magnificent for City since joining them from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013.
Whether playing in midfield or at the heart of the defence, he brings energy and composure to Guardiola’s side, and has long been a key – yet sometimes under-rated figure – in a team renowned for its attacking prowess.
The 35-year-old started his career in his homeland with Atletico Paranense, before making the move to Ukraine in 2005.
He won 13 trophies with Donetsk, including the 2009 UEFA Cup, and more silverware has followed in Manchester.
Who are the key men?
Long identified as a bright young talent, Phil Foden has truly blossomed this season and is very much a key figure with 10 goals and six assists to his name this term.
City also boast the devastating attacking talents of Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, although the latter pair are currently injured.
Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is in a rich vein of form – with nine goals in his last 11 Premier League appearances – while Ferran Torres has also impressed since joining from Valencia.
They have Ederson to call on in goal, while John Stones and Ruben Dias have excelled in defence.