What this Champions League Draw Brought For the English Teams?
This UEFA Champions League Draw at Nyon saw some of the most mouth-watering fixtures which will be played among the best clubs of Europe early next year. Especially the English teams were fixtured with very formidable foes that will really test their title bid. The Chelsea vs Barcelona match is seen as the stand-out match who is looking as interesting as the match between Real Madrid vs PSG.
After all the leading teams of the Premier League progressed from their respective groups, England became the first country to have five teams in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
These five English teams have lost three games in total in the group stages while scoring 80 goals in total. All the teams except Chelsea did not top their group rankings.
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Below are the opponents the five English teams will have to face in the knockout stages:
Chelsea vs Barcelona:
Antonio Conte's side Chelsea will be taking on Barcelona who is currently the defending champions of the La Liga title. It will be the sixth time that the English club will be facing the Spanish league leaders in the Champions League's knockout stages.
Looking from their Premier League performances, the Chelsea team seems to lack the fervor which got them the title last year. And since the title race is almost over after the unstoppable run of Manchester City, they are currently competing very closely with Manchester United for the second place.
While looking at Barcelona, they are still looking very good despite having lost their star player Neymar, who is now playing for Paris Saint Germain. Even without Neymar, the team has Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to keep them winning in the La Liga. They are currently leading their La Liga table with 5 points clear from their nearest rival.
Tottenham vs Juventus:
It looks like Tottenham Hotspurs will have to take on a very challenging side of Juventus who were the finalists last season. However, it is also worth remembering that they were top of their Champions’ League group by beating even the likes of Real Madrid who were the champions last season.
On the other hand, Juventus will have to be a little cautious because they have been eliminated in all their last five European knockout encounters with the English clubs.
The Spurs performance has not been up to the par in the Premier League, lagging behind the top teams on the seventh spot in the table. However, their performance in Europe has not been anything but phenomenal. Therefore, they are expected to do something special against the Italian side also.
Manchester United vs Sevilla:
The Manchester United team might have felt a sigh of relief at their next opponent in the Champions League. They lost against their arch-rivals Manchester United recently in what was expected to be a very tough game at Old Trafford. Still, their performance in the Premier League has been far better than last season when they had finished at the sixth spot in the table.
They will be facing Sevilla who are currently ranked fifth in their league table. Seeing by their recent performances both in the Champions League and in La Liga as well, they probably are not that big a worry for the United side.
They managed to come to the knockout stages of the Champions League with two wins and placed just behind the English club Liverpool, but they lost big against Real Madrid with the difference of 5-0 in La Liga.
Liverpool vs Porto:
Although the Liverpool team seemed to struggle a little in the earlier part of the season, however they have found a steady pace since then, both in the Premier League and the Champions League. Their best show came in the Champions League where they stunned Maribor with a 7-0 win. Therefore, it is not unrealistic to expect that they will defeat the Portuguese league leaders as well.
Manchester City vs Basel:
Manchester City is in its best form this season. So far, they have been undefeated, and they have established a 14 successive winning streak in the Premier League. Their best performance came recently when they defeated their biggest challenger at home with 2-1 in the Manchester Derby. Although they have lost against Shakhtar Donetsk in their group stage by 2-1, still it is very likely that they will prevail against the Swiss side Basel.
All these games are looking to be very exciting. The next games will really test all these English teams. It remains to see whether any of these teams bring home the glory of the Champions League title.
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