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A lot has been said about the Premier League.

And how English clubs fair in the Europe’s elite competition, The Champions League.

Premier League clubs in the Champions LeagueIt’s a popular opinion that Premier League is the best league in the world, but with one Premier League side winning the Champions League in the last 8 years, can that really be the case? And just how far can our current crop of English representatives go in the football’s most prized club competition? Well, if history is anything to go by, then the answer is not very far but as avid the avid Premier League audience will know, you never know what to expect from Premier League clubs.

Leicester’s historic Premier League winning campaign automatically propelled them into this year’s competition, and if Claudio Ranieri’s men have taught us anything in the last 12 months, it would be not to underestimate them. With a team spirit that can arguably going unrivalled by any other team in the competition as well as having proven match winners such as Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, in addition to Ranieri’s effective counter-attacking philosophy, can make Leicester City somewhat of a dark horse, particularly in the group stages of the competition. And no it wouldn’t be a major shock if the Midlands clubs make it to the round of 16 stage.

It his however, at the round of 16, that the men get separated from the boys, so to speak. As seen in Leicester City’s International Champions Cup pre-season campaign, whereby they were humbled by both PSG and Barcelona, that the gap in quality between could prove far too much for even the foxes to handle, and that any eventual meeting between Leicester and one of Europe’s very top clubs could end miserably especially with it being a competitive fixture rather than a friendly.

What are the odds on Arsenal exiting the Champions League at the round of 16? Joking aside, Arsenal have left at the round of 16 for 6 seasons in a row, though they did fall at the hands of the mighty Barcelona and Bayern Munich twice respectively. With that being said, there is still growing unrest within the Arsenal fan base that they are still not doing what is expected of them, not only in the Premier League but in the Champions League also.

There is no denying that the Gunners have a crop of world class footballer’s, whether you agree or not, have climbed up the table from consistent 4th place finishers to 2nd place in the Premier League last season. And in regards to how they will fair in the Champions League, maybe if they are lucky enough to avoid the like of Barcelona, Bayern or Real in the round of 16 and have a little more luck in regards to injuries on top of that, they could find themselves among the quarter finalists or even the semi’s whereby anything can happen. (Maybe the signing of a world class striker and centre back will also help their cause.)

If Spurs have the same Champions League campaign they had in Harry Redknapp’s last season in charge, then they would’ve exceeded all expectations. Having failed to finish in the automatic Champions League spot literally at the final hurdle last season, Spurs will be more determined to stake their claim in the competition this year, and prove to everyone that they deserve to be there. If Spurs can conjure up the same level of performances that did last season in the Premier League, qualifying from the group stages is more than a realistic goal.

With their young, English core having a full pre-season under their belt and with potential match winners such as Harry Kane and Dele Alli at their disposal, as well as a number of other players with undoubted quality such as Eriksen, Dier, Lamela etc., there’s no reason as to why Pochettino’s men can’t go on a good run in this season’s Champions league campaign, with the quarter finals a realistic target for the North London side. However, the lack of Champions League experience within the squad, and having to obviously ensure Champions League qualification for the 17/18 season, may prove too much for Spurs.

The question that has been surrounding everyone involved with Manchester for years since their takeover is why can they not perform on the European stage. Having won the Premier League twice in the last 5 years, expanding the stadium, having somewhat unlimited funds and having by far the most expensive squad in the competition with world-class players such as Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and captain Vincent Kompany as well as many others, it still hasn’t clicked for Manchester City on club football’s grand stage. City did, however get to the Champions League semi-final stage last season, only to fall at the hand of eventual winners Real Madrid. But it still wasn’t enough for now former manager, Manuel Pellegrini, to keep his job.

Enter Pep Guardiola. Three times Champions League winner and, City fans hope, their knight in shining armour in their hopes for European success. With Pep at the helm, there is no doubt that city will see the Champions League trophy as more of a realistic goal this season, and their world-class squad an additional £100+ million spent, all mixed with Pep’s experience and tactical prowess, means that maybe the Premier Leagues main hope in coming up with a Champions League winner this season could come in the shape of Manchester City.

Post written by Jonathan Roberts
Blog: missingstudsfootball.wordpress.com, Twitter: @missingstuds

Note: The views expressed within this blog post are those of the contributing author, and may not necessarily reflect those of MatchDayApp Limited, its representatives or associated partners.

Image Credits
© SkySports

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