The Champions League Features Five British Clubs
The Champions League recommenced on Tuesday, with Chelsea, Man United, Man City, Liverpool, and Tottenham making up the five representatives from England for this season’s competition. Manchester United only qualified by virtue of winning the Europa League last season, however.
Arsenal, regulars in the Champions League, will not be featuring this year after they came fifth in the Premier League last season, and this will be the first time they have missed it in 22 seasons.
The Premier League Clubs Dominate No More
As is evident after a quick look at the markets provided by NZ betting sites, the days that the British Premier League Football Clubs dominated the Champions League are no more. Between the years 2005 and 2012 Football Clubs from England managed to reach the final stages of the League a total of seven times, including the memorable all-English final in 2008, which had Manchester United playing against Chelsea.
Chelsea’s win in 2012 marked the last time that there were any English finalists, as well as the final time that only two English Clubs made it through to even the semi-finals. Perhaps the most disappointing team has been Arsenal, however, who has not managed to make it past the Last 16 for the last seven seasons.
What are the Burning Questions Facing English Teams This Season?
For Manchester United:
- Has Neymar done Pogba a good turn?
After Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain, Pogba lost his status as the globe’s most expensive player, and early-season signs indicate that Pogba’s losing the tag has emboldened him.
- Can the Chelsea FC compete on two fronts?
The departure of Nemanja Matic over the summer and the continuing standoff with Diego Costa has many worried that the squad is lacking in depth.
- Who needs Coutinho?
Coutinho was not present in Liverpool’s early season games, but the front three, Mane, Firmino, and Salah performed incredibly well despite his absence, and may yet end up famous enough to grace a football card.
For Manchester City:
- Will any club ever spend as much on defenders as City did?
A new keeper in the form of Ederson, and three fullbacks in the shape of Mendy, Walker and Danilo cost Man City £152 million.
For Tottenham Hotspur:
- Is it Groundhog Day for Tottenham Hotspur?
After the disappointment of last season, when Tottenham Hotspur lost out to Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen, making them the only seeded team that did not manage to make the Last 16, Tottenham got handed another difficult draw against Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, and APOEL of Cyprus.
Although early indicators seem to show that the teams making up the Premier League will do well in the Group Stages of the 2017 Champions League, the jury is out on whether or not they can make the knockout stages count.