Manchester City avoided Premier League opposition in a cup competition once again on Thursday morning, when the Carabao Cup draw presented them with a quarter-final clash with League One side Oxford United.
With the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Everton all still left in the competition, Pep Guardiola's side have dodged yet another bullet as they look to repeat least season's domestic treble.
CONFIRMED QUARTER-FINAL DRAW!— Carabao Cup (@Carabao_Cup) October 31, 2019
Here are the confirmed ties for the Quarter-Final draw, current holders @ManCity travel to @SkyBetLeagueOne @OUFCOfficial, and @SkyBetLeagueTwo @ColU_Official travel to Old Trafford to take on @ManUtd. #EFL | #CarabaoCup pic.twitter.com/4yioU7PtBN
Since the beginning of the 2018/19 season, Lady Luck has seemingly been kind to the Citizens, who have arguably been fortuitous with the draws in all three competitions they have taken part in since. While they ultimately were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage last season, the club have avoided facing top-six opposition in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, while equally avoiding European heavyweights in the Champions League.
This was highlighted by Telegraph journalist Matt Law, who pointed to the sides City have faced since the start of last season, labelling their run as 'favourable'. Hard to argue when you look at the names...
In the Champions League: Lyon, Hoffenheim, Shakhtar (twice), Schalke, Tottenham, Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta.
In the FA Cup: Rotherham, Burnley, Newport, Swansea, Brighton, Watford.
And in the glorious Carabao: Oxford, Fulham, Leicester, Burton Albion, Chelsea, PNE, Southampton and Oxford.
All I'm saying is City have had a pretty favourable run in terms of recent draws.— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) October 31, 2019
While nobody would wish to disrespect the teams Guardiola's side have faced, there is an unquestionable fortune in the way the draw has fallen for them. In fact, if City had managed to get past Spurs in the Champions League last season they'd have faced Ajax – unquestionably the easiest of the other three semi-finalists.
Of course, this week's Carabao draw means that – in all likelihood – the semi-finals will be contested between four Premier League teams; and quite possibly four of the current top seven (let's see if Liverpool allow Villa a walkover first). City.......might get challenged soon?