Will An English Team Win The Champion’s League This Season?

Posted: March 9, 2018 in Arsenal, Champions League, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Tottenham Hotspur
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At the time of writing England still has four representatives in the competition so the chances are reasonably good that one of them could win it. To an extent it depends on the draw for the quarter finals, particularly for Manchester City and Liverpool who are already through to that round.

Manchester United still have a potentially tricky second leg tie at home to Sevilla to overcome but should do so without major problems whilst Chelsea have the hardest task in that they need to either beat Barcelona in the Camp Nou or come away with a high scoring draw in order to progress.

Nothing, however, is guaranteed as was shown in the Tottenham game. They had done the hard bit whereby they had achieved a draw in Italy and scored TWO away goals against a Juventus team who don’t ordinarily concede.

They then blew the “easy” bit. All they needed was a 0-0 or a 1-1 draw or, preferably, to win the game, a result which they were favourites to achieve given their first leg performance. As everybody now knows, they contrived to lose their home leg 1-2 thus exiting the competition.


Juventus scorers Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala celebrate their victory with Gianluigi Buffon

Liverpool and Manchester City had big leads from their first leg matches in Portugal and Switzerland respectively. As is usual nowadays they “rested” players for the formalities of the home legs and, as is also usual nowadays, their supporters suffered the consequences, Liverpool drawing 0-0 with Porto at Anfield while City managed to lose 1-2 to Basel at The Etihad.

So assuming, realistically, that Chelsea fail to eliminate Barcelona in Spain then England will have three teams in the quarter finals of this year’s Champion’s League.

The worst case scenario at this stage would be for two of the remaining English teams to be drawn against each other. Yes, it would guarantee that at least one would reach the semi finals but, on the other hand, it would also guarantee that one would be eliminated.

The best chance of an English finalist and, therefore, a possible English winner is if they can avoid each other in the quarter finals.

The remaining teams are likely to be the usual suspects which are Barcelona, Bayern Münich, Real Madrid, Juventus, the three English clubs plus one of Roma or Shakhtar Donetsk which is a tie too close to call at the moment.

Of the non-English sides left in the competition only Barcelona and Bayern Münich are having excellent seasons with the Spaniards nine points clear at the top of their league and the Germans a whopping 20 clear at the summit of the Bundesliga.


Bayern Münich – Back among the favourites for everything since the return of Jupp Heynckes

Real Madrid are blowing hot and cold and, despite a convincing victory over a very unconvincing PSG in the last round when they won both the home and away legs, they look vulnerable and are certainly beatable. In La Liga they are currently third, 15 points behind the leaders, Barcelona.

As for Juventus, they should have been beaten by Tottenham and the feeling is that a more experienced manager than Mauricio Pochettino would have seen Spurs over the line. They are involved in a scrap for the Serie A title with a gap of only one point between themselves and the leaders, Napoli, although Juve have a game in hand.

So it is our considered opinion that whichever of the English clubs manages to avoid Barcelona or Bayern Münich and the other English clubs, stands a fair chance of reaching the final and, therefore, winning the competition.

That isn’t to say that Bayern Münich and Barcelona are unbeatable but it would certainly help the English cause if they were drawn against each other in the next round.

So the preferred draw would be as follows:

Barcelona v Bayern Münich

Real Madrid v Manchester City

Juventus v Liverpool

Roma/Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester United

If this were to be the draw then we would expect all three English teams to progress to the semi finals and then at least one has to reach the final and maybe win it.

Maybe this is the year of the Manchester final rather than the Madrid finals of previous years! Who knows?

Stranger things have happened!



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