The Champions League Season has been quite interesting thus far. Some of the English teams have gotten off to a rocky start and some have started hot; however, I believe all four EPL teams in the will still do what is necessary to reach the knockout stage.
For the second year straight it has been “The Group of Death” that has challenged the Hotspurs champions league hopes. Simply put, managing and experience will be what gives Tottenham their chance to jump into the knockout stage. Even after blowing a 1-0 lead against Inter Milan and falling to Barcelona, I think this squad will bounce back. Tottenham isn’t very deep but is a team that is very committed to playing with each other and they all play well together. The back line of Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier and others will be a valuable aspect that can push them past their group. Even though a strong defense is what Tottenham is known for, that won’t be enough to get them past a group with Inter and Barcelona. Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura, and others will have to score goals and set up chances for each other. I predict Tottenham to finish 2nd behind Barcelona and advance to the Round of 16.
Manchester United just survived a scare from Newcastle and this team has clear issues; yet I still believe they can advance to the knockout stage. Jose Mourinho isn’t doing a good deal for his players and they are become frustrated. Nonetheless, Man U still has the talent to get them over the top. Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku need to become the duo that they were hyped up to be and the midfield and defense must step up their game. A weak UCL group is why I think the Lions will make it through, as Juventus is really the only great challenge to them. As vulnerable as Manchester United is, look for them to make it back to the UCL knockout stage.
I firmly believe Manchester City is a top 7 team in the world. There will be no issues for Manchester City getting back to the UCL knockout stage. Sergio Aguero will lead this team through a relatively easy group, which they will win. Kevin De Bruyne is recovering from injury but watch out for him to make an immediate impact when he returns. Man City is the most balanced team from front to back in the premier league and isn’t far behind from the teams like Juventus and Barcelona. Pep Guardiola has all the right tools and tactics along with the experience and camaraderie that a great manager possesses. Is this team better than Liverpool? I don’t know, but it’s UCL; so unless they meet, all that matters is that Man City keeps beating other teams. Look for Man City to be in position bring a UCL title back to England!
Experience. Liverpool is determined to get back to where they were a year ago, but they want to be on the winning end of it. After losing to Real Madrid in the UCL Final last season, Liverpool thinks they are at the top of the world to stay, and I agree. Jurgen Klopp is one of the great masterminds in all of soccer and this gives them the advantage in high stake games. Don’t forget they have one of the best players in the world as well: Mo Salah. He creates every bit of problem for opposing defenses, punishing them with goals or setting up his teammates such as Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Daniel Sturridge. To complement this offensive attack, Liverpool has a great defensive minded midfield. This will be more than enough to push them past a tough group filled with Napoli and PSG. Naby Keita is also a key to this team. If he his playing his part in the defensive midfield, Liverpool is definitely a team who can win the UCL.