Can the English sides deal with the demands of Champions League football?

Samuel Greco Schwartz Roar Rookie

By , Samuel Greco Schwartz is a Roar Rookie

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    With UEFA Champions League football on the horizon, we take a look at how all the English sides will fare on the European stage.

    Will the five English teams remain competitive on both fronts or will their form in the Premier League suffer as they go for glory in Europe’s most coveted competition?

    For the first time, a record five English teams will be competing in this year’s edition of the Champions League. These teams include Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham.

    Here’s an insight into how these teams will manage in the upcoming instalment of Champions League football.

    Manchester United
    Pitted in group A alongside FC Basel, CSKA Moscow and SL Benfica. Following their success in the UEFA Europa League, the Red Devils have been rewarded with a place in this year’s Champions League group stage. Jose Mourinho will be more than pleased with the three other teams in the group.

    Apart from a difficult trip to Russia, United should progress comfortably through the group stage. They kick off their Champions League campaign at home to FC Basel on Tuesday night at 7:45pm (Wednesday, 4:45am AEST).

    Manchester United’s most decisive group stage matches

    Manchester United versus FC Basel – Old Trafford (Sep 13, 4:45am AEST)

    CSKA Moscow versus Manchester United – Arena CSKA (Sep 28, 4:45am AEST)

    Benfica versus Manchester United – Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Oct 19, 5:45am AEST)

    Chelsea
    Placed in group C with AS Roma, Atletico Madrid and Qarabag FK. The current Premier League title holders return to the European stage after a year’s absence. The Blues have been tasked with a difficult group as they contend with Italian heavyweights, Roma and Spanish giants, Atletico Madrid.

    Antonio Conte will hope that his side can excel in Europe while Chelsea fans will relish the return of Champions League football as they aim for a repeat of their 2011-12 season, when they were crowned winners of the Champions League.

    This group provides Chelsea with tough opposition, however they get the best chance to make a winning start as they face Azerbaijani outfit, Qarabag at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, 7:45pm kick off (Wednesday, 4:45am)


    Chelsea’s most crucial group stage fixtures

    Atletico Madrid versus Chelsea – Wanda Metropolitano (Sep 28, 4:45am AEST)

    Chelsea versus Roma – Stamford Bridge (Oct 19, 5:45am AEST)

    Chelsea versus Atletico Madrid – Stamford Bridge (Dec 6, 6:45am AEST)

    Manchester City
    Situated in group F along with Shakhtar Donetsk, Feyenoord and Napoli. The Premier League big spenders will hope for an extended run in Europe. Pep Guardiola has built a team which is more than capable of fighting on both the Premier League and European stage. Having been given the funds to improve his squad, Manchester City’s owners will believe that this is their year as they look to topple current Champions League holders, Real Madrid.

    After their disappointing round of 16 exit to Monaco in last year’s campaign, Guardiola will look for his side to progress in Europe this year. With their current crop of players, a spot in the Champions League final is more than achievable.

    City begin their European adventures away to Feyenoord on Wednesday night, kick off at 8:45pm (Thursday, 4:45am AEST).

    Pep Guardiola

    Pep Guardiola(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    Manchester City’s most important group stage matches
    Manchester City versus Napoli – Etihad Stadium (Oct 18, 5:45am AEST)

    Napoli versus Manchester City – Stadio San Paolo (Nov 2, 6:45am AEST)

    Shakhtar Donetsk versus Manchester City – Metalist Stadium (Dec 7, 2017, 6:45am AEST)

    Liverpool FC
    Placed in group E alongside Spartak Moscow, NK Maribor and Sevilla FC. The Reds return to Europe for the first time since their Champions League group stage exit in 2014. Liverpool had to overcome Hoffenheim in a two-legged play off to reach the group stage.

    Fans will be eager for the return of European nights to Anfield, while Jurgen Klopp will get another opportunity to manage in the Champions League.

    Based on the calibre of opposition, the Merseyside outfit have been given the best opportunity to progress past the group stage.

    The Reds launch their European campaign at Anfield against old foes, Sevilla on Wednesday night at 7:45pm (Thursday, 4:45am AEST).

    Liverpool’s most crucial group stage fixtures
    Liverpool versus Sevilla FC – Anfield (Sep 14, 4:45am AEST)

    Spartak Moscow versus Liverpool – Otkrytiye Arena (Sep 27, 4:45am AEST)

    Sevilla versus Liverpool – Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium (Nov 22, 6:45am AEST)

    Jurgen Klopp

    (AP Photo/Jon Super)

    Tottenham Hotspur
    Planted in group H, the group of death. Tottenham must contend with APOEL FC, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid. After a dismal performance in the 2016 Champions League group stage, Spurs have been given the near impossible task as they look to navigate their way through the group of death.

    Playing their home matches out of Wembley has proved a hindrance rather than an advantage for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Away games at Signal Iduna Park and The Bernabeu will only add to their woes as they seek to improve upon last year’s poor showing.

    Spurs kick-start their Champions League campaign against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on Wednesday night, kick off 7:45pm (Thursday, 4:45am AEST).

    Tottenham’s most significant group stage matches
    Real Madrid versus Tottenham Hotspur – Santiago Bernabeu (Oct 18, 5:45am AEST)

    Tottenham Hotspur versus Real Madrid – Wembley (Nov 2, 6:45am AEST)

    Borussia Dortmund versus Tottenham Hotspur – Signal Iduna Park (Nov 22, 6:45am AEST)

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