Is There Any Chance A British Team Could Win This Season’s Champion’s League?

Posted: September 14, 2017 in Arsenal, Champions League, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion
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With an unprecedented six teams competing in this year’s competition one would be forgiven for thinking that the odds on a British team winning the trophy are pretty decent.

The problem, as is often the case, is that quantity tends to get confused with quality.

Today we take a brief look at the three teams who have already played their first games and assess their chances.

Chelsea

Probably the best equipped of the British clubs to mount a serious challenge because they have strength in every department.

Chelsea won their first game 6-0 against the Azerbaijan minnows Qarabag and, as such, little can be learned from this victory other than Qarabag will finish bottom of the group.

Chelsea “rested” Álvaro Morata, presumably because a fourth game in a month would have been too much of a strain on his aching bones. It also gave Antonio Conte the chance to have a look at Michy Batshuayi who scored one and assisted Qarabag in scoring an own goal.

The only potential problem for the Blues is injury or suspension because, although their first team squad is strong, it is not very deep and does not have much experience to call on should it be required.

Chances of winning the competition – 6/10

Manchester United

Another comfortable winner on opening night despite an early injury to Paul Pogba. United do have strength in depth with a fair amount of experience at their disposal should they need it.

They don’t appear, however, to have the necessary quality to win the competition this time out.

When considering that, at one stage during the game against Basel, United had Smalling, Fellaini, Young and Lingard on the pitch at the same time and despite a man-of-the-match performance from Fellaini, these are players far more likely to strike fear into their own fans than they are into the opposition!

Simply put, they are just not good enough and better teams will exploit these weaknesses should they be allowed to continue. In fairness we do think that Mourinho will pick a better team when he comes up against better teams.

Fortunately for him he has Eric Bailly to come back from suspension and he will surely play a stronger team in Russia two weeks from now when a point would be a decent result.

Chances of winning the competition – 5/10

Glasgow Celtic

For Celtic Brexit began immediately after their meeting with PSG and no amount of complaints from the first minister will change that fact.

They were out-thought, outplayed and outclassed. Even a supporter who managed to get onto the pitch failed to get a tackle in on Kylian M’Bappe, much like the Celtic team for most of the evening.

This competition, which Celtic were the first British team to win back in 1967, seems like a million miles away from them now. Sure, European nights at Parkhead are special. The problem is that they have become special for the opposition and Celtic really need to look at where they play domestically if they ever want to improve their lot.

It has long been a contention of this publication that, if Welsh teams are allowed into the English leagues, then it is very discriminatory not to allow Scottish teams the same privilege.

Unfortunately for Celtic, until they can play against meaningful opposition much more regularly than they do at present, they will never again win a European trophy.

Chances of winning the competition – 0/10

These are, of course, just our assessments of the games from Tuesday. In fact, both of the Premier League teams in action looked good. Those results, however, have not shifted their chances of winning the trophy in any perceptible way. To have a look at the different options and odds for the English clubs in the Champions League, take a look at this website.

So that’s the first three. Tomorrow we will look at the other three; Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City who, despite managing nine goals between them, didn’t all win!

Hasta luego!

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