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Premier League: European contenders

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Ahead of Thursday's Champions League group stage draw, GMS contributor Tom Deeks looks at the potential within the Premier League's European representatives for the campaign ahead. 

In recent seasons, the Premier League's finest have not fared too well in the Champions League. Yes, Chelsea somehow managed to win the competition two seasons ago, but gone are the days when English sides were the most-feared in Europe.

Since the famous 2005 final in Istanbul, every season there has been a Premier League side in either the semi-final or the final itself - apart from the 2010 season when Manchester United and Arsenal went the furthest and lost to Bayern Munich and Barcelona respectively in the quarter-finals.

Last season was the worst in years for the Premier League sides as holders Chelsea became the first team to win the competition and not get past the group stage during the following campaign. Champions Manchester City were eliminated at the same stage, Arsenal lost in the round of 16 to eventual winners Bayern Munich and United also went out at the same stage to Real Madrid. 

Perhaps this year could see a change in fortunes for the Premier League teams?

Arsenal

The Gunners best ever finish was their 2006 final defeat to Barcelona and since then Arsene Wenger's side have struggled to be consistent in Europe's elite competition.

Since 2006, Arsenal have been eliminated in the round of 16 four times. They have reached the quarter-finals twice and and the semi-final once since losing in Paris.

With another transfer window about to close and no considerable signings made, Wenger's team look incapable of producing a productive campaign in the Champions League this season.

Prediction: Round of 16 

Chelsea

Chelsea won the trophy in 2012 but since then, major changes have occurred at Stamford Bridge. 

The Blues have an admirable Champions League record and have a love-hate relationship with the competition. 

New boss Jose Mourinho will be looking to reach that elusive final with Chelsea after losing to Liverpool twice in the 2005 and 2007 semi-finals.

This is not the Chelsea team whose experience, plus Didier Drogba, took them to glory in 2012 and will therefore need a season to gel under Mourinho.

Prediction: Quarter-finals

Manchester City

City have been poor under Roberto Mancini in their two seasons so far in the Champions League, having been eliminated in the group stage on both occasions.

Manuel Pellegrini's Malaga side were desperately unlucky not to beat Borussia Dortmund and reach the semi-finals last season and the new City boss will surely take his talented side to at least the same stage.

The blue half of Manchester will be hoping their team finally progress among Europe's elite teams under their new boss.

prediction: Semi-finals

Manchester United

The Red Devils have a superb record in the competition, but since losing the 2011 final at Wembley, United were eliminated in the group stage in 2012 and the round of 16 last season.

David Moyes took his Everton side to the qualifying round in 2005 but they were beaten over two legs and missed out on the group stages.

The new United boss therefore has a lack of experience in the competition and will do well to make waves in his debut season with United. However, United should never be written off.

Prediction: Semi-finals

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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