For the second time in three years, no English club featured in the quarter-finals of the Champions League this season. Manchester City were knocked out by a ruthless Barcelona side, Arsenal were embarrassingly beaten by an organised Monaco unit and even Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side – who have dominated the Premier League this year – couldn’t beat 10-man PSG in the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
It is looking as though Chelsea, City and Arsenal are likely to feature in the competition next season while the fourth spot is still up for grabs. Here, we discuss the chances of each club in next year’s competition and consider if any of these teams are good enough to win Europe’s top club tournament. For more football news and tips, you can check out blue sq to follow the progress of all the clubs along with the conclusion of this season’s Champions League.
The Blues are going to be crowned this year’s Premier League champions after a phenomenal domestic campaign. Chelsea, who have already won the Capital One Cup in March, have been by far the best team in the league and are worthy winners of the title. However, they majorly disappointed in Europe this season after losing to Laurent Blanc’s PSG side on away goals.
It could be argued that Mourinho got his tactics wrong in that clash, but the Portuguese will ensure that he does not make the same mistake twice as Chelsea hunt down their second Champions League triumph in four years. The Blues will be one of the favourites heading into the tournament.
The reigning Premier League champions have struggled this season, but are still likely to finish runners up behind a formidable Chelsea unit. City have failed to cope with a number of high-profile injuries, while their replacements have simply not been good enough. They were dealt a cruel hand in the Champions League with Barcelona for the second time in as many seasons, and once again they were beaten by the Spanish outfit in almost every department – as admitted by their manager Manuel Pellegrini.
It is likely that City will dismiss Pellegrini in the summer and his replacement is likely to take the competition very seriously. The current Premier League champions have more than enough talent to reach the latter stages of the tournament, provided that they bring in a couple of experienced players in the upcoming transfer window. If they do that, they will stand a great chance of defying the odds and winning the competition for the first time.
The Gunners have been formidable throughout the second half of the season and Arsene Wenger will be hoping that they can carry their form into the next campaign. Arsenal have put together an excellent unbeaten run and still have a chance of finishing second this year. However, they were thrashed at home 3-1 by a Monaco side that had scored just seven goals in this season’s tournament and crashed out at the last-16 stage.
Arsenal will need to invest heavily if they are to compete with Europe’s elite and they may need to finish at the top of their group in order to avoid the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona. However, this Arsenal side does have potential and are a commanding central defender and world-class finisher away from genuine contenders for both the Premier League and Champions League competitions.