Over the last few seasons, the Premier League clubs have hugely disappointed in the Champions League and are not the dominant force they once were.
This is despite the record levels of TV money pouring into the clubs with all of them reporting record income levels. The Premier League boasts the most expensive player in the world with Paul Pogba who signed for United for nearly ninety million in the summer. His team did not qualify for the competition so just goes to show how much money the top clubs have at their disposal. The league also has arguably the two best managers in the world with Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. It is still not enough though for the PL to dominate and it is a mystery why they are all performing so bad.
Arsenal always qualifies for the Champions League but at one point the pressure always gets too much and they end up getting a hammering. This season is no different after just losing 5- 1 to Bayern Munich and seeing their chances of getting through vanishing at the same time. There seems to be a huge mentality problem at the Emirates and most of the fans are starting to blame Arsene Wenger for it. The task of qualifying this campaign is the toughest yet so it will be interesting to see if they manage to achieve it yet again. If they don’t then surely a change of manager needs to take place as the team has been stagnant for a number of years now.
The English clubs have struggled to cope with the different tactics used by European opposition. They have strength in depth and the winter break helps the players to recover for the latter stages of the competition. Many have argued that the grueling holiday schedule for Premier League teams have over the Xmas and new year period is damaging to their Champions League aspirations. With the rise of French football due to major investment in both PSG and Monaco, the Premier League teams risks being further adrift if they do not find a reason why they are performing so badly.
Leicester, in their debut season are doing remarkable well but it is at the cost of their league position. The fact that they are now in the relegation battle will hamper their campaign. They have to go through Sevilla now and it will be extremely difficult for them to beat their top class Spanish opposition. The team proved that they are capable of miracles last season but with the sale of key players, they are not the same outfit.
Manchester City has the best chance to progress this year after a first leg win againstt Monaco. Pep Guardiola’s experience in the competition might help get them through and maybe he will be the one that finally changes the fortune of English clubs in the tournament.
If you have access to free online bets you may fancy a punt on the Champions League winner this year. Barcelona were the favorites but they were thrashed 5 – 0 by PSG and are not almost certainly how. The English teams left in all great odds and it may be worth putting on bookmakers free bets on one of them achieving it. As recently history shows us though there is not much chance of that happening.