England Expects Champions League Glory

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The Christmas fixtures are over and with most countries starting to return to domestic action following their respective winter breaks, thoughts are starting to turn, in some quarters, to the Champions League.

We’ve reached the last sixteen stage and at this point, no country has more representatives in this year’s competition than England. English football has no winter break and it has been argued that this affects the nation’s sides as they go deep into European competition but this could be the year that sees an EPL club lift the trophy for the first time since Chelsea in 2012.


Included in the list of five English clubs are the favourites for the trophy. Manchester City are unbeaten domestically and while they did lose in the UCL group stages to Shakhtar Donetsk, Pep Guardiola’s men are front-runners for Champions League glory this time around.

City’s dominance in their division is reflected in the fact that they are as short as 1/100 in the outright Premier League betting market while they enter the group stage of the Champions League as a 3/1 shot. Next up for Guardiola’s men is their last-16 tie with Basel which they should come through comfortably before the competition becomes more intense.


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Liverpool and Manchester United follow their English counterparts and both will head into the Champions League knockout phase after impressive EPL campaigns to date. Form is very much with Liverpool however after a productive Christmas period while United’s faint hopes of challenging Manchester City at the top of the table were effectively ended after a series of three disappointing and frustrating draws.

Both teams have tough but very winnable ties with Liverpool facing Porto and Manchester United having been drawn against Sevilla. They each play the first leg away from home and that should give both English clubs another advantage.


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Completing the English quintet are Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea although their respective chances are rated to be much slimmer after receiving tough draws in the last sixteen. Many felt that Spurs wouldn’t even make it this far but Mauricio Pochettino’s men completely dominated their group, taking four points from the mighty Real Madrid along the way.

Tottenham now face last year’s beaten finalists Juventus but also have the advantage of playing the first leg away from home.

That just leaves Chelsea who have the toughest task of all as they take on Barcelona. Having finished as runners-up in their group, Antonio Conte’s men will have to play the first leg at their Stamford Bridge home but the West London side have good form coming into the knockouts and if they can get past the Catalans, their path to the final will become much clearer.

Numerical advantage alone gives English football fans hope of a Champions League triumph at the end of the 2017/18 campaign and included in their five representatives are the tournament’s favourites Manchester City. However, no-one would necessarily bet against any of the remaining English clubs and there may never be a better chance to break the Spanish domination of Real Madrid and Barcelona over the last four years of this competition.

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