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Rio Ferdinand.

Rio Ferdinand picks which Premier League club will go furthest in Champions League

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The opening matchday of the Champions League group stage ended in satisfaction for most of the Premier League clubs involved.

Chelsea and Manchester United celebrated their return to the competition in convincing fashion on Tuesday, winning 6-0 and 3-0 over Qarabag and FC Basel respectively.

Wednesday evening saw Tottenham produce a confident performance to notch a 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley, while Manchester City thrashed Feyenoord 4-0 on the road.

Liverpool, however, could only manage a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Sevilla.

There’s not much to split the English clubs in terms of quality and squad depth, generating much discussion about who is best equipped to compete in the Champions League alongside domestic commitments.

PREMIER LEAGUE SPENDING

City outspent the rest of the Premier League this summer courtesy of a £220 million spree – no less than £40 million more than their nearest rivals in Chelsea.

United also splashed a whopping £150 million on new signings, whereas Liverpool and Tottenham restricted themselves to a comparatively modest expenditure of around £80 million.

But what does all this investment mean in terms of how far each club can go in Europe?

RIO FERDINAND'S PREDICTION

Not much at all, according to United legend Rio Ferdinand. The former England defender believes one team stands above the rest as the most likely English candidate to win the Champions League.

To the dismay of the Old Trafford faithful, Chelsea are his pick – and he's provided plenty of reasons why.

Chelsea FC v Qarabag FK - UEFA Champions League

“Maybe their strength in depth is their only Achilles heel that I find in their team,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport, per the Express.

“I think they are a very well balanced team. I think the manager (Antonio Conte) works hard, he drills them daily on tactics.

“They have an understanding of each other as individuals but also as a team.

“In that sense I think Chelsea are our best hope as an English team.

“A lot of the other teams you can see deficiencies in the squad.

“Manchester United defensively, maybe at the top level may come unstuck.

“Man City I find the same. Attacking both of them teams are fantastic but I just think this Chelsea team are very well rounded.”

MONEY NOT A FACTOR

Unlike many others, Ferdinand doesn't reckon his old team ready to go all the way in Europe despite securing some big arrivals during the summer.

All will be revealed as the season kicks into full swing later in the year, but for now, it’s surely too close to call.

Which Premier League will go furthest in the Champions League this season? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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