Will a Premier League side win the Champions League?

With all five competing English clubs having made a superb start to the competition, could one go all the way?

Will a Premier League side win the Champions League?
Could either of these foes lead their team to glory? (photo: Getty Images / Michael Steele)

With each of England's five Champions League representatives well positioned to qualify from their respective groups after four games, a feeling is growing that the famous trophy could return to these shores once more come May.

But, who could win it?

Manchester City

Story so far: Top of their group with four wins from four, City are breezing it. Needing just a point against Shakhtar to top the group after doing the double over Napoli, City could easily finish with six wins from six.

Biggest advantages: Their team! Man for man, City have the best side and play the best football in England. Their current winning run has spilled over into Europe too, with few doubting that when on form, they're impossible to stop.

Biggest disadvantage: Playing style! Whilst the Citizens' front-footed nature is what most neutrals adore seeing, it does have potential to leave them open at the back. All it takes is a clinical striker to punish them once or twice and they could be dumped out as they were by Radamel Falcao and his AS Monaco side last season.

 

 

Manchester United

Story so far: Just like City, the Red Devils have a 100% record. Home and away to Benfica was tricky with some fortunate goals getting them over the line, but that doesn't matter now. Just a point needed to assure themselves of top spot, too. 

Biggest advantage: Jose Mourinho! Love him or hate him, Mourinho has a track record of success in the competition having triumphed with both FC Porto and Inter Milan. United have a good, not great, team but their manager's nous in high-stake games could push them over the edge towards a trophy.

Biggest disadvantage: Lack of goals. United have hammered them in against the smaller teams this season but have struggled to create in big games, scoring just one in 180 minutes against Liverpool and Tottenham recently. Could that undo them against a stout defence?

 

 

Chelsea

Story so far: Despite being humbled in Rome this week, seven points from their first three games has left Chelsea well positioned to qualify due to Atletico Madrid's failings. Whether they'll come top of the group remains up in the air, Roma slightly ahead as it stands.

Biggest advantage: Tactical flexibility! Although Antonio Conte has drilled it into his players that 3-4-3 is the way, the Blues can easily switch to a 3-5-2 or even a four at the back formation, giving them multiple options for varying opponents, with the likes of Eden Hazard, David Luiz and N'Golo Kante all determined to make their mark.

Biggest disadvantage: Likely capitulation! As so often is the way with Chelsea, their toughest rival could be themselves. Almost Real Madrid-esque in the way you feel they're never too far away from the crisis, Chelsea could well have a different manager by the time the last 16 comes around. It's just the way they're programmed.

 

 

Tottenham Hotspur

Story so far: A dream start to the competition for Spurs who are showing no signs of the nerves that scarred their European campaign last season. Seeing off Dortmund and APOEL in precise fashion was just the start, with the Lilywhites taking four points off Real Madrid, leaving themselves in a position where they only need to beat APOEL at home in order to top the group.

Biggest advantage: Team balance! Spurs really are a model in how to set up an effective football team. Quick full-back's, a fantastic defensive spine, a consistent goalscorer in Harry Kane and the stardust of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli in midfield. They've got quality across the pitch, slouches neither in attack or defence.

Biggest disadvantage: Bottling it! Sorry, Tottenham fans, but I'm sure you know it too. Beating Madrid (fantastically) in the group is one thing, but taking on another titan would be another world completely. Spurs haven't exactly shown a cool head at important moments in the last couple of years, so fans should be wary of how much they expect when the pressure really is on during the latter stages.

 

 

Liverpool

Story so far: A shaky start for the Reds with two draws has soon been forgotten after they put ten past Maribor over two games, now leading the group. A draw at Sevilla and a win at home to Spartak Moscow would secure top spot.

Biggest advantage: Anfield! It would be too easy to say that the Reds' attack will be their biggest strength, but there are better attack's around Europe. Can other grounds create the same atmosphere as Anfield on a big European night? The L4 atmosphere isn't what it once was, but as evidence against Dortmund in 2016, the famous ground can roar into life and intimidate opponents even in the modern era.

Biggest disadvantage: The defence! Yes, it was hard not to mention the attack, it's impossible not to mention the defence. Liverpool have conceded three to Watford, four to Spurs and five to City so far this team. Imagine PSG's frontline breaking against Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan. Oh my.