The draws for the group stages of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League holds today at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco with champions Liverpool back in contention and will be interesting to see the teams they are paired against.
Last season was an interesting one for English clubs with two of them – Liverpool and Tottenham – facing off in the final and they will be looking to earn a repeat of the same feat this term. However, former champions Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will look to have a say in that, while Manchester City will be expected to ask some tough questions as they chase their first ever European glory.
Let’s take a look at the English clubs and see what teams they could face and their chances of making progress from the group phase of the competition.
After lifting the Champions League in June, it was as surprise that Jurgen Klopp added just two low key signings to his squad this summer. But the Reds have started this season as they ended the last with their blend of pace and pressing yielding three consecutive Premier League wins and it is that formula that marks them out as one of the favourites to win this year’s competition.
Salah is definitely one of the best players in the world right now and he has started the season on a very bright note. On his day, he can singlehandedly wreck any team and the Reds will be hoping to have him in top form as they look to become the first team after Real Madrid to retain the competition in its present format.
Only AC Milan and Real Madrid have won the competition more times in their history.
If they keep their key men fit Liverpool have a strong chance of retaining the trophy.
A two-window transfer ban has left Frank Lampard facing arguably the most difficult job of any Chelsea manager in the Roman Abramovich era. His decision to put his faith in youth has yielded mixed results so far, with a win, a draw and a loss from his opening three Premier League games and Europe could be an unfortunate distraction from the task of finishing in the top four with a small squad.
It’s hard to pinpoint one particular player, but N’Golo Kante would arguably be the man. He’s had fitness struggles this term so far and Chelsea will hope they can keep him fit for the most part.
Chelsea have won the competition once (2012) and lifted the Europa League last season.
A lack of goals and squad depth mean Chelsea won’t be among the favourites.
For all of their domestic success in recent years, Manchester City continue to disappoint on the European stage having been knocked out of the competition by Tottenham in the quarter-finals last season. Pep Guardiola has insisted the Premier League is again his priority this season but with the quality at his disposal, anything other than an appearance in the final this term will be regarded as a failure.
Quite a number of them. From Raheem Sterling to Kevin De Bruyne to Sergio Aguero but Sterling would probably take the cake given his impressive start to the season which has seen him score six goals.
City are serial underachievers in Europe and are yet to win the Champions League.
They have arguably the best squad in this season’s competition – this could be their year.