Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced England's top clubs will continue their dominance of the Champions League this season.
The Premier League has supplied three of the four semi-finalists for the past three seasons, plus a finalist in each of the last five, but there are some who claim a weakening of standards in England, coupled with the huge amounts of money spent by a Real Madrid outfit desperate to reach the final in their own Bernabeu Stadium next May, will ease that stranglehold.
"The English teams will be involved in the semi-finals again," he said. "They have been very dominant in the tournament for the last six or seven years. That is shown by the evidence of the latter stages and I think it will be the same this year."
Manchester United will book their place in the last 16 with two games to spare if they beat CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
Chelsea are similarly well placed after their opening three games, while it would be a major surprise if Arsenal did not make it through after collecting seven points so far.
In contrast, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich are currently outside the automatic qualification spots, while AC Milan and Real Madrid have already lost matches in a group they were expected to dominate completely.
"Obviously Barcelona are one of the favourites," he said. "You cannot dismiss them. But there is no question in my mind that the English teams will compete for the trophy."
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