Football

Champions League: Can England's finest compete?

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Chelsea were the last English team to win the Champions League, who will be next? (©GettyImages)
Chelsea were the last English team to win the Champions League, who will be next? (©GettyImages).

The Premier League's top sides failed to make much of an impact in the Champions League last season. 

However, this time round, can they compete with Europe's elite?

Let's take a look: 

1. Arsenal

In recent years, Arsenal may not have been favourites to make it past the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but with the signing of German star Mesut Özil and with recent performances in the league, there is no reason why Arsenal can not take this into Europe.

Many people may not remember the last time Arsenal actually won any silverware other than the famous 'Invincibles' of the 2003/04 season almost ten years ago however the recent win over Norwich showed glimpses that Arsenal are back to full strength.

Özil has been an influence in the Gunners camp with great performances and scoring goals makes you wonder why Real would let him go. He has certainly proved his worth and he now shows that Arsenal are considered a real threat within England with their terrorising passing display for Wilshere to open the scoring. 

If Arsenal are capable of transferring this kind of performance into the Champions League, then there is no reason why they can not compete against the best teams once again

2. Chelsea

With the return of the 'Special One' to the Bridge, Mourinho certainly knows how to compete in Europe. Having won it first with Portuguese team FC Porto and then with Italian giants Inter Milan, fans will be expecting a replay of Jose's first stint in England.

Chelsea certainly have the players to mount a title challenge for both the league and in Europe. Probably Chelsea's strongest factor is strength in depth with almost every position having good cover and some key players still in Lampard, Cech and Terry and bringing in former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o there is plenty of experience to go around.

However Chelsea still don't have an inform striker but with Torres looking like his old self and Eto'o clinching his first goal for the Blues, goals look almost certain to come. There may be a big problem with young players who may be inexperienced in Europe and being too reliant on others to score goal in the midfield.

Chelsea have won both the Champions League and the Europa League in consecutive seasons being the first team ever to do so but for success this season Mourinho may need to work his magic to bring the best out of all is players.

3. Manchester City

Manchester City looked to have been cursed in previous years with no luck getting out of the group stage but with a strong side, they look like they could be serious contenders this year.

With Sergio Agüero scoring goals in the Premier League and now Europe as well, he will definitely be one to watch for all defences. City certainly have strong players at their disposal with Yaya Touré and David Silva looking strong in supply Agüero with plenty of opportunities to bag even more goals there is no doubt that Man City can be classed as a real threat.

On the other hand, Manchester City's weakness is certainly the defence with some easy goals being put past the Citizens they will need to sharpen things up at the back. With inconsistent Joe Hart and some defensive relapses between captain Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic this is something they will have to work on.

At the other side on the pitch is where City will be able to win games with goal scoring strikers and a strong midfield, Manchester City look definite to make it out of the group stage and possibly challenge for the trophy but will face tough competition at the back.

4. Manchester United

Of course how can we forget our old title winning friends at Old Trafford and yes old as the last time they had won the Champions League was 2008. Manchester United's start to the season has not been a dream for new manager David Moyes and only bringing in one key signing, things will only get harder.

The Red Devils may be suffering in the League sitting in eighth place but there is good news in the form of top of Group A for the Champions League. Surprisingly enough, this isn't United's best start to the season but things can only get better for Moyes' men with a few easier games on the horizon, this will be the time to try and get into form for the Champions League.

This year could see all four Premier League teams advance from the group stages and fight amongst the top teams to be crowned kings of Europe.

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Topics:
Football
UEFA Champions League
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