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Manchester City's upcoming schedule a real test for Pep Guardiola squad strength

The next three weeks may define the season

Manchester City FC v VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach - UEFA Champions League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Even though the unbeaten start to the season came to a painful end at White Hart Lane last week, Manchester City fans can still rejoice after watching Pep Guardiola's side win 10 of their first 12 games and display some beautiful football under the new manager.

There were some very good wins against great opponents, but the schedule in the first two months was somewhat friendly to the Citizens, which was good because it gave the team a good chance to win every game while adapting to Guardiola's style.

As the international break comes to an end, though, the easy games are over and the next few weeks of football bring some incredibly tough fixtures for the Sky Blues.

Here's the City schedule for the next three weeks:

vs Everton (Premier League, Oct. 15)

at Barcelona (Champions League, Oct. 19)

vs Southampton (Premier League, Oct. 23)

at Manchester United (EFL Cup, Oct. 26)

at West Bromwich Albion (Premier League, Oct. 29)

vs Barcelona (Champions League, Nov. 1)

vs Middlesbrough (Premier League, Nov. 5)

Apart from Middlesbrough, the last match before another international break, every single game is tough, including West Brom because that'll be at The Hawthorns and that's a tough stadium to play.

The first four games are insane: Everton and Southampton are two of the best teams in the Premier League this season, like to play football and present difficult challenges for Guardiola's team. The EFL Cup game against Man United at Old Trafford is a huge one because it's a Derby, it's a one-game knockout and it's Jose vs Pep again.

And of course, there's Barcelona at Camp Nou. There's no introduction need for that game, and it'll probably be the toughest of them all. City then face Barça again two weeks later at the Etihad, and it'll be just as tough.

For Guardiola, the run of fixtures will be a gigantic opportunity to learn just how good his team really is. Except from Boro, who aren't likely to be a really tough challenge, every game will be difficult for different reasons, and we'll really find out if City are already good enough to challenge the best teams in Europe and whether or not they can face top Premier League sides and beat them, proving the Sky Blues are real title contenders.

The next three weeks should be fun.