Which Premier League Side Will Go Furthest in the 2017-18 Champions League?
December 5, 2017 (No Comments) by Evan Coughlan

About eight years ago, English teams were the belle of the ball in the Champions League. For a five year period an English team featured in every Champions League final, and semi-finals were regularly contested between English sides.

However, in the last few years that dominance has somewhat deserted English teams, with the only English side reaching the quarter finals last season being Leicester City. This year however, the English sides have been on somewhat of a roll in Europe’s elite competition with dominant performances from the likes of Man City and Tottenham impressing fans, and making pundits sit up and take note.

Working off the assumption that all five teams will qualify for the last 16 of the competition, let us here at The Sharpe take a look at how far each of the five Premier League sides could go in this year’s Champions League.

Chelsea

The Premier League champions started off their Champions League campaign in flying form with a dominant performance over Qarabağ and a last minute winner against Atletico Madrid. Since then, Chelsea have struggled through two matches against Roma, drawing one and getting hammered 3-0 in the other.

eden-hazard-chelsea

After an unlikely draw between Atletico Madrid and Qarabağ, and a convincing win against the latter team, Chelsea currently sit atop of Group C knowing that a draw against Atletico at Stamford Bridge will leave them as group winners.

Chelsea are flying in the league at the moment. With players like Hazard and Kante enjoying a rich vein of form, we can see them getting the result they need against the Spanish side and perhaps going one round further.

Prediction: Quarter Finals

Manchester City

The best team in the Premier League this season, Man City have been on fire from the get go, scoring goals for fun and playing some of the most exciting football in Europe. After a somewhat indifferent first season, Pep Guardiola seems to have finally found his swagger again and City so far have ran through every team in Champions League Group F.

NASHVILLE, TN - JULY 29: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City during the International Champions Cup 2017 match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Nissan Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Of course, City flattered to deceive this time last season, as they ran through teams at ease, but came undone due to defensive frailties. It seems so far, this season, that those defensive frailties have been seen to, and the Christmas period will tell us a lot about City’s metal for the rest of the season.

With Guardiola’s experience guiding sides through Champions League campaigns, you can expect City to be in the mix come the latter stages of the competition. Combine that with the fact that De Bruyne, Sane and Sterling are having the season of their lives, we could see City go all the way, both domestically and in Europe.

Prediction: Winners

Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s men have been inconsistent in the Champions League to say the least, and their visit to Sevilla last time out says it all. Time and time again, Liverpool’s defensive shortcomings have seen them throw games away, when they were all but guaranteed the three points.

jurgen-klopp

Although a win against Spartak Moscow at home will see Liverpool top the group, it could have been so much handier for them had they beaten Sevilla.

If Jurgen Klopp’s men are to advance far in this competition, they’ll need to bring some of their outstanding Premier League form with them when playing in Europe. On top of that, building Anfield into a fortress, like it was 10 years ago for European nights, couldn’t hurt. And what certainly couldn’t hurt is perhaps investing in the likes of a Virgil Van Dijk come January.

Prediction: Quarter-Finals

Tottenham Hotspur

After a disappointing group stage appearance, last season, Tottenham have returned to the Champions League this year and are taking no prisoners. Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen have been a pleasure to watch. Spurs shocked the footballing world a few weeks ago with a victory over back to back winners Real Madrid, all this after drawing with Los Blancos at the Bernabeu two weeks prior.

tottenham-hotspur-harry-kane

Spurs have now secured themselves a spot in the next round of the competition after their winning performances over Real and Borussia Dortmund (x2). The one downfall that Spurs have is that they are massively inexperienced at this level and the knockout rounds of the Champions League may be one step too far for them, this year. Combine that with their bad run of form domestically, the last 16 could spell the end for Pochettino’s men.

However, if this Tottenham team can stay and grow together over the next few seasons than they have every chance of going very far in the future.

Prediction: Last 16

Manchester United

Now to Manchester United and Jose Mourinho. The Europa League champions have been on fire since their return to the Champions League, brushing aside all teams in their group as they romped to qualification to the knockout phase. More impressively United have done so without the services of Paul Pogba, who prior to his injury in United’s first Champions League game had been the team’s best player.

zlatan-ibrahimovic-file-photo

With Pogba recently returning from injury alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it looks like United have two brand new players to slot into their starting XI. Past United teams have had great moments in the Champions League and manager Jose Mourinho has won the competition on two occasions. But this current crop of players, particularly their defence, have very little experience in Europe’s elite competition. It looks likely that United will finish top of their group ensuring they get a somewhat favourable draw for the last 16 and who knows what could happen from there.

Prediction: Quarter-Finals

Evan Coughlan
Writes about sport and stuff. When Evan thinks of a witty comment it will appear here.

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Which Premier League Side Will Go Furthest in the 2017-18 Champions League?
December 5, 2017 (No Comments) by Evan Coughlan

About eight years ago, English teams were the belle of the ball in the Champions League. For a five year period an English team featured in every Champions League final, and semi-finals were regularly contested between English sides.

However, in the last few years that dominance has somewhat deserted English teams, with the only English side reaching the quarter finals last season being Leicester City. This year however, the English sides have been on somewhat of a roll in Europe’s elite competition with dominant performances from the likes of Man City and Tottenham impressing fans, and making pundits sit up and take note.

Working off the assumption that all five teams will qualify for the last 16 of the competition, let us here at The Sharpe take a look at how far each of the five Premier League sides could go in this year’s Champions League.

Chelsea

The Premier League champions started off their Champions League campaign in flying form with a dominant performance over Qarabağ and a last minute winner against Atletico Madrid. Since then, Chelsea have struggled through two matches against Roma, drawing one and getting hammered 3-0 in the other.

eden-hazard-chelsea

After an unlikely draw between Atletico Madrid and Qarabağ, and a convincing win against the latter team, Chelsea currently sit atop of Group C knowing that a draw against Atletico at Stamford Bridge will leave them as group winners.

Chelsea are flying in the league at the moment. With players like Hazard and Kante enjoying a rich vein of form, we can see them getting the result they need against the Spanish side and perhaps going one round further.

Prediction: Quarter Finals

Manchester City

The best team in the Premier League this season, Man City have been on fire from the get go, scoring goals for fun and playing some of the most exciting football in Europe. After a somewhat indifferent first season, Pep Guardiola seems to have finally found his swagger again and City so far have ran through every team in Champions League Group F.

NASHVILLE, TN - JULY 29: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City during the International Champions Cup 2017 match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Nissan Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Of course, City flattered to deceive this time last season, as they ran through teams at ease, but came undone due to defensive frailties. It seems so far, this season, that those defensive frailties have been seen to, and the Christmas period will tell us a lot about City’s metal for the rest of the season.

With Guardiola’s experience guiding sides through Champions League campaigns, you can expect City to be in the mix come the latter stages of the competition. Combine that with the fact that De Bruyne, Sane and Sterling are having the season of their lives, we could see City go all the way, both domestically and in Europe.

Prediction: Winners

Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s men have been inconsistent in the Champions League to say the least, and their visit to Sevilla last time out says it all. Time and time again, Liverpool’s defensive shortcomings have seen them throw games away, when they were all but guaranteed the three points.

jurgen-klopp

Although a win against Spartak Moscow at home will see Liverpool top the group, it could have been so much handier for them had they beaten Sevilla.

If Jurgen Klopp’s men are to advance far in this competition, they’ll need to bring some of their outstanding Premier League form with them when playing in Europe. On top of that, building Anfield into a fortress, like it was 10 years ago for European nights, couldn’t hurt. And what certainly couldn’t hurt is perhaps investing in the likes of a Virgil Van Dijk come January.

Prediction: Quarter-Finals

Tottenham Hotspur

After a disappointing group stage appearance, last season, Tottenham have returned to the Champions League this year and are taking no prisoners. Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen have been a pleasure to watch. Spurs shocked the footballing world a few weeks ago with a victory over back to back winners Real Madrid, all this after drawing with Los Blancos at the Bernabeu two weeks prior.

tottenham-hotspur-harry-kane

Spurs have now secured themselves a spot in the next round of the competition after their winning performances over Real and Borussia Dortmund (x2). The one downfall that Spurs have is that they are massively inexperienced at this level and the knockout rounds of the Champions League may be one step too far for them, this year. Combine that with their bad run of form domestically, the last 16 could spell the end for Pochettino’s men.

However, if this Tottenham team can stay and grow together over the next few seasons than they have every chance of going very far in the future.

Prediction: Last 16

Manchester United

Now to Manchester United and Jose Mourinho. The Europa League champions have been on fire since their return to the Champions League, brushing aside all teams in their group as they romped to qualification to the knockout phase. More impressively United have done so without the services of Paul Pogba, who prior to his injury in United’s first Champions League game had been the team’s best player.

zlatan-ibrahimovic-file-photo

With Pogba recently returning from injury alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it looks like United have two brand new players to slot into their starting XI. Past United teams have had great moments in the Champions League and manager Jose Mourinho has won the competition on two occasions. But this current crop of players, particularly their defence, have very little experience in Europe’s elite competition. It looks likely that United will finish top of their group ensuring they get a somewhat favourable draw for the last 16 and who knows what could happen from there.

Prediction: Quarter-Finals

Evan Coughlan
Writes about sport and stuff. When Evan thinks of a witty comment it will appear here.

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