The UEFA Champions League group stage has concluded, and thus, the first knockout draw has commenced. With that, many English teams have made it out of the groups themselves.
Manchester City have the pick of the draw, facing Real Madrid in the round of 16. London clubs Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have drawn against German opposition in Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig respectively. Premier League leaders Liverpool will play La Liga giants Atletico Madrid.
Each team can improve during the January transfer window, and that can have a huge say on things. These English teams have a tough contest ahead of them, but will they advance to the quarter-finals and beyond?
Premier League Teams’ Chances in the Champions League Last 16
Real Madrid, despite exiting the competition at this stage last year, are no pushover. Manchester City have an immense task on their hands if they want to progress to the last eight.
With their current squad, they definitely have the calibre to defeat Los Blancos, but the Galacticos defeated City in their last Champions League outing together in 2016. Since then, however, the Blues have strengthened exponentially, becoming Premier League centurions along the way. Real Madrid disappointed in La Liga and the Champions League last season. Will they improve on their last-16 exit from 2018/19, or will they slump again?
Score Prediction: Manchester City 4-3 Real Madrid
Under new boss Frank Lampard, Chelsea has seen a new era of fun-to-watch football bless Stamford Bridge. Players such as Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic have all been a joy for the Chelsea faithful. Will these young lads, as well as the experienced players, be enough to beat the Bavarian giants?
Bayern Munich have endured a subpar run in the Bundesliga, sitting fifth in the table, six points behind league leaders RB Leipzig. They have performed well in Europe’s elite club competition, though, and definitely have a strong side to back that up.
Chelsea are, no doubt, a good side, but there is a doubt as to whether or not they can pull off an upset against the players in red and white. If Bayern Munich slip further down the league table, they might just throw everything at the team that beat them in the 2012 Champions League final.
Score Prediction: Chelsea 1-5 Bayern Munich
With Jose Mourinho at the helm, a new breath of fresh air has made its way into the facilities at Spurs. From mid-table mediocrity to top-four hopefuls, Tottenham are definitely a team with blistering confidence. Many forget that this team made it to the Champions League final last season, even defeating Manchester City along the way. Can they go on a similar run against the current Bundesliga leaders?
RB Leipzig have been on fire this season, with their star striker Timo Werner contributing to a goal every 57 minutes. This Spurs defence will want to stop him at all costs. Will it be enough to triumph over one of the most in-form teams in the top-five leagues? Will Mourinho be able to pull a well-earned victory over two legs against the Germans?
Score Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 RB Leipzig
Six times, perhaps seven come the end of the season? The reigning champions will have to overcome Atletico Madrid if they wish to progress beyond the last 16.
Similarly to Bayern Munich in Germany, Atletico have been struggling as of late in La Liga. They sit fifth in the table, six points behind Real Madrid and Barcelona, who both have a game in hand. They might want to throw everything at the Reds if they wish to go further beyond in the Champions League.
Liverpool, however, have a Premier League title edging closer to their grasp with every week that goes by. They already have immense firepower in the league, and with their aspirations to sign the likes of Takumi Minamino to strengthen their attack, they can truly challenge for a seventh title.
Atletico are no pushover, however, and Liverpool will have to give it all they got if they wish to win the round.
Score Prediction: Liverpool 3-3 Atletico Madrid (Liverpool Win)
Could Any of These Teams Win the Whole Competition?
Liverpool and Manchester City certainly have the biggest shouts of winning the tournament. Chelsea and Spurs are also in contention, of course, but their squads are arguably weaker. This is also considering the fact that both of those teams have their aspirations primarily set on a good finish in the Premier League.
Liverpool arguably have the best team in the world and Manchester City have one of the strongest sides in terms of quality and depth. If draws go their way, they could even see themselves facing each other in the final.
Liverpool would love to assert their continental dominance, and Manchester City would enjoy making a mark in Europe. They haven’t reached the final in their history, only going as far as the semi-finals. Liverpool are aiming for a seventh Champions League and second in a row – also a third final in a row.
A prediction for the final placements of these teams? Chelsea will exit in the last-16. Spurs and Manchester City will finish in the quarter-finals. Liverpool, however, will win the Champions League.