Europe’s biggest club competition is kicking off on Tuesday, and we will take a look at the clubs competing from the four big leagues. In this article, we take a look at the four English clubs representing the Premier League after a few disappointing years in Europe.
1- Leicester City
Leicester managed to complete the surprise last season in the Premier League and proved their critics wrong by maintaining their form for the entire season. However, will they be able to surprise us in Europe?
The only big change in the squad is the departure of N’Golo Kanté to Chelsea. But Vardy, Mahrez and the rest of the first team remains at the disposal of Coach Claudio Ranieri.
The Champions League is different from the Premier League, and Leicester are now competing in both, as well as the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup, will Ranieri rotate players in order to rest them for important games? Will the team’s form decline because of their Champions League participation? And what can they achieve in Europe?
The first step in their Champions League campaign is the group stage. Leicester have found themselves in an easy group that will see them face the likes of Porto, Copenhagen and Club Brugge. If they can maintain last season’s form, the team will advance from this group.
In the knockout stages however, when they face teams such as Real, Atletico, Barcelona, Bayern and Juventus, Leicester are expected to crash out of the competition, and to struggle with pressure from the four competitions.
Prediction: Last 16
Arsenal finished second in the Premier League last season, and it was a satisfying finish for the gunners especially that they passed rivals Tottenham in the last matchday. However, Champions League rivals are on a higher level, and fans lost their trust in Arsene Wenger in recent years.
In the transfer market, some regular signings were made by Wenger, but no major players were signed. Shkodran Mustafi’s arrival from Valencia is the best transfer of the summer for Arsenal to boost the defense.
Arsenal find themselves in Group A of this season’s Champions League alongside PSG, Basel and Ludogorets. It seems that without any surprises, Arsenal and PSG would go through to the next round. In the knockout stages, it depends on the opponents, but they don’t like being serious title contenders.
Prediction: Quarter Finals
3- Tottenham Hotspur
One of the most important seasons for Tottenham, where they were in second place for most of the campaign before losing their place in the last match for city rivals Arsenal. Tottenham stars lost confidence after the end of the Premier League and Alli and Kane were flops for England at the Euros. Pochettino will have to motivate his players before this important season.
Moussa Sissoko is the most important transfer for Spurs in summer 2016. Sissoko could be really helpful in midfield, boosted with a great performance for France in the Euros.
The group stage might have been way tougher for Tottenham. They should feel lucky to end up with Leverkusen, CSKA Moskow and Monaco. However, these teams are tricky and Spurs should be at their best in order to pass through to the next round.
Prediction: Group Stage Exit
4- Manchester City
Pep Guardiola’s arrival to Man City is exciting and promising to the fans of this club. After reaching the semi-final last season, City are desperate to win the Champions League this season. Guardiola is a great motivator that has won the competition previously with Barcelona.
The team was very active during the transfer market as always, signing Bravo, Gundogan, Stones, Sane and Nolito. The team looks strong and ready to go far in the competition this season. They will be tough to beat and might be the only serious title contenders representing England in Europe.
Man City find themselves in the most difficult group alongside Barcelona, Monchengladbach and Celtic. Guardiola will face his previous team again at least twice. Clashes will be very close but Man City are expected to qualify alongside Barcelona.