For the past 4 seasons, La Liga teams have taken both the Champions and Europa League titles, while the seemingly best league in the world have fallen short every season as far as challenging for the top continental prizes goes.
Will the trend continue in 2016-17? Or the Premier League representatives this term will do England proud?
In the Champions League, Leicester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City are the country’s flag bearers, while Manchester United and Southampton represent in the Europa League.
On both fronts, not 1 of these 6 sides have won all their first 4 group games. And while that isn’t a yardstick to measure success in the longterm, and also considering that only 1 club in the 8 Champions League groups, and 3 in 12 Europa League groups have been able to, how EPL teams fare on the continent won’t be particularly judged by their group performances.
However, proving such total dominance would only send a message to other league representatives. For now, nobody is particularly scared of them.
Tottenham and Manchester United are the only 3rd-placed sides in their Champions League and Europa League groups respectively at the moment, and both do not have a high chance of advancing compared to the 1st placed Arsenal and Leicester, and 2nd placed City and Southampton.
Southampton and United (if they advance) will definitely face stiffer challenges in the rounds of 32. But they haven’t particularly been totally convincing. The Red Devils don’t even look like a team ready to make the best use of what could be their golden opportunity to make a return to to the Champions League, and it won’t be surprising if they come to to the end of the road sooner or later.
The Saints are doing well in the campaign, with their latest comeback victory against Inter making them formidable hosts on the continent. Southampton are unbeaten in 7 European home games, winning 3 and drawing the 4 others.
It’ll be interesting to see how far they can go, but they aren’t the most promising side out of 48 teams in the 12 groups at the moment. And there are also 8 3rd-placed Champions League group teams to deal it. Would take a lot of efforts for EPL’s brightest hope to win the Europa League.
On the biggest stage, it’s too early to rule out Tottenham’s chances of making the rounds of 16. However, finishing 2nd is the best thing that can happen to them (the worst being a gruelling Europa League round of 32 ahead). Same with Manchester City. Do either of these 2 have a chance against most of the potential and current group leaders?
Napoli, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Monaco, Dortmund and Sevilla await any of these 2, and none of them are the most easiest of challengers.
Arsenal and Leicester City have a high chance of finishing top of the group, and that will see them probably earn a favorable draw, though the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich and PSG aren’t anyway favorable. But they will need to be more than perfect to at least cross the 1st hurdle that next comes their ways.
Arsenal haven’t been able to do that successfully for the last 6 seasons, and while it’s tempting to say they look different this time around, the north London club are notorious and famous for falling and failing at challenges as these, flattering to deceive at any opportunity they get.
Leicester on the other hand have got no experience, and though they have played like a team with a lot of it, they still don’t look capable of upsetting the biggest sides on the continent.
Truly, all 6 EPL teams have a chance in both competitions, as they are all still in it, but which of them look like potential winners of either competitions?