English clubs in Europe next year: How will they fare?


champions league trophy in england

The question of how the English quintet will fare in the Champions League next season is a tricky one since we are yet to witness how the summer transfer window will unfold.

What happens in the transfer market will have a telling impact on the success of teams from the Premier League in Europe. But based on gut-feeling alone, here is how I can see each club coping next term.

Chelsea – They boast arguably the most stable team and if the spine of the squad is kept together while the right additions are made, the Blues might be serious contenders for the crown next year.

Any side managed by Antonio Conte knows how to defend and when you know how to defend, you don’t bow out of competitions too early.

The Italian national team of Euro 2016 was a fine example of how Conte can win through sheer discipline at the back and with Chelsea far more talented than that particular squad, there could be a long cup run at the offing.

Tottenham – Similar to Chelsea, Tottenham are very rich in the tactical discipline department under Mauricio Pochettino and that is every successful football team’s biggest asset.

However, where there is hardly any similarity between the two clubs is mentality. Spurs, through their back-to-back title failures from the past two seasons have displayed signs of a mental block when the stakes are really high.

Add to that, the fact that they will be playing at Wembley where wins were extremely hard to come by last season and the issue of a mental block could be what holds back Tottenham again next year.

Liverpool – Liverpool, with or without Jurgen Klopp, traditionally have their fortuitous ways in cup competitions and that makes them exciting to watch because they could make it to the semi-finals even with an inferior squad.

It has to be said that the return of Champions League nights at Anfield will be quite an experience to savour and assuming that Klopp makes a few decent acquisitions while they survive the qualifying round, the Reds’ fearlessness could be their catalyst.

After all, this is a team which was at its best in matches against sides from the top six of the Premier League this season. They certainly know how to embrace the big occasions even though their defending will need collective improvement.

Manchester City – An emphatic response to the 2016/17 season will be expected from Pep Guardiola and perhaps this summer’s transfer window will mean more to Manchester City than any other club.

Should their squad be bolstered with more defensive additions, City will be a threat in the knock-out stages because going forward, they have more than enough goals in them.

Manchester United – Like Liverpool, there could be a vibrant welcoming back of Champions League football at Old Trafford which could inspire a long run in the competition.

And considering the fact that Jose Mourinho has an impressive record in Europe, it is unlikely that United will be crashing out of the competition before the knockout round.

In conclusion, apart from Tottenham Hotspur and their mental block, the English teams are perhaps bound to be better equipped for the big crown next season than they have been in the past five or six years.

The absence of Arsenal, who have honestly misrepresented the quality of the Premier League in recent years, could also result in a reduction of embarrassing score-lines this time.