How Far Can England's Champions League Teams Go in Europe's Elite Competition?

?An English team hasn’t won the Champions League since Chelsea achieved the remarkable feat back in 2012, besting Bayern Munich on penalties.

And as the knockout rounds of this year’s competition approach, just how well placed are the remaining three teams from the Premier League to make a challenge for Europe’s most prestigious trophy?

Arguably the strongest threat to the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich is Manchester City. 

Manchester City Training Session and Press Conference

They may have a somewhat leaky defence but going forward they can match just about any team in the competition. 

In Sergio Aguero they have a striker just as capable as the likes of Robert Lewandowski or Karim Benzema, Kevin De Bruyne is a player who could easily be plying his trade at Real Madrid in a season or so, while David Silva has proven his worth to the side season after season.

The team have picked up the most impressive result from an English club in the competition so far this season, beating Barcelona 3-1 in an enthralling encounter. It is at the back where they will be undone, however. 

Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League

People scoffed at the £50m City forked out for defender John Stones back in the summer and, while it will most likely prove to be a great investment, the former Everton man is yet to display the form that merited the hefty price tag.

 

The likes of Nicolas Otamendi and Aleksander Kolarov were also exposed at the weekend against an electric Chelsea side, and a potential tie against one of Europe’s elites would make for fearful reading for City fans.

Can anything be expected from Arsenal?

On paper, yes, absolutely. The team are playing terrific football, with Alexis Sanchez proving to be one of the most formidable forwards in Europe so far this season, while Mesut Ozil has also chipped in with more goals, despite his strikes affecting the amount of assists the former Real Madrid man has recorded this year as opposed to last season.

Arsenal fans should trust their side to impress should they draw a powerful opponent in the next round, given that their players are also among the strongest in the Premier League. Laurent Koscielny is seen by many as arguably the best centre-back in the league, having improved considerably during his stay with the Gunners. while they also have a goalkeeper who has been there, done that in Petr Cech. He won the competition with Chelsea back in 2012, so he knows what it takes.

West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League

But what should we expect from Leicester?

Yes, they’ve performed impressively in the Champions League so far. One must remember that their group was definitely among the easier ones in the competition, but still, the Premier League champions have remained unbeaten throughout the competition and will qualify as group winners regardless of their result against Porto on Wednesday.

However, it seems only a matter of time before their poor domestic form infects their brilliant European run. In fact it will likely not be a matter of form but of sheer strength, given the quality of teams such as PSG and Borussia Dortmund who will reach the latter stages of the competition. If they are to do well in the latter stages then a good run of form, coupled with Jamie Vardy rediscovering his scoring touch wouldn’t go amiss.

FBL-EUR-C1-LEICESTER-CLUB BRUGGE

And of course, it would have been brilliant to see Tottenham Hotspur in the knockout rounds.

The absences of Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld seemed to affect the team catastrophically in Europe, with the side looking weak at the back and toothless going forward. Their last match, away against Monaco, was not the sort of night Spurs fans were hoping for when they saw their side qualify last season.

Instead, the side are likely to drop back into the familiar routine of Europa League nights on Thursday should they avoid defeat at home against CSKA Moscow on Wednesday. That might not be such a bad thing, with the competition devoid of the likes of Dortmund and Sevilla who made the trophy frighteningly difficult for Spurs to attempt to win last year.

Tottenham Hotspur FC Training Session and Press Conference

Last season Manchester City represented England’s best performers, reaching the semi-finals before being eliminated by eventual winners Real Madrid. Arsenal were knocked out in the last 16, as were Chelsea, while Manchester United left the competition at the group stage.

 

There’s no doubting that English teams have waned in terms of performances in Europe while teams from Spain and Germany have become feared in recent years. Here’s to hoping the three remaining teams from the Premier League can push on and help to reestablish the fearful aura that once surrounded English teams.

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