England got a staggering, full compliment of Premier League teams into the quarterfinals, in fact a perfect four for four.
What Premier League team is best positioned to make a deep run?
Results from the 3/15 Champions League draw:
Ajax | Juventus
Liverpool | Porto
Tottenham | Man City
Manchester United | FC Barcelona
1. With four teams in final eight, England was bound to have have some friendly fire.
This friendly fire came in the form of Tottenham and Manchester City facing off. Manchester City had one of the easiest group draws. They followed it up with a win in the elimination round over Schalke, a team that City ended up decimating, despite a lackluster first leg (seriously, 10-2).
Tottenham Hotspur came through the Champions League “group of death“. This showed in the group stage which was much tighter than some of the other groups. They performed well in their elimination games where they managed to keep a talented Dortmund team off the scoresheet.
This hurts the English Premier League’s chances because two of the top four teams will face off against each other here. The bookies think that Manchester City are the team to beat with them at 5/2 odds (or about +250 in the American market).
2. The Journey doesn’t get easier.
The next opponent for the winner of Manchester City or Tottenham will face either Juventus (huge favorites by the bookies) or Ajax. Ajax’s odds are better only than Porto, while Juventus comes in as the second best odds overall, behind Manchester City.
This round of the competition will be assured of at least one English team exiting.
3. The semi-finals could feasibly feature three English teams, after which another English showdown would occur.
FC Barcelona are sizable favorites over their Manchester United opponents. However, this same side went down to Paris Saint Germain before storming back (in Paris) to win advancement.
Porto’s odds suggest that they might be better off playing the lottery. However, they weren’t given much of a shot throughout the first rounds either. Liverpool, however, are nigh the exact opposite with their odds falling at 9/2 (or just between Manchester United and FC Barcelona).
5. We’ve been here before…
It’s been almost exactly ten years since England sent four teams to the quarterfinal. The last time, it was Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Liverpool. Half of the teams from that years English runners up performance. The final four in that year had Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and FC Barcelona. It culminated in Manchester United winning over Arsenal, and Barcelona scraping by Chelsea before eventually winning.
We’ve already talked about how this year there could again be three English teams in the semifinals. Obviously Arsenal and Chelsea won’t be a part of them since they were both in the Europa League this season, but they could instead be accompanied by Manchester City and Tottenham.
6. Competition abounds, with no team out of contention for first in their domestic league.
All four of the English teams are still mathematically able to come out on top. Half of those teams (Manchester United and Tottenham) are still within distance of being taken out of contention for next years Champions League. Only Porto are fighting for the Champions League lives via a top-place finish.
In contrast, Ajax has a 15-point lead over third place in the Eredivisie and trail PSV by 2 points. They are almost already assured a top-2 finish and next season Champions League. Juventus has an 18-point lead over the second-placed team and 25 over the final Champions League qualifying spot. Barcelona have almost a 20 point lead over the final qualifying stage and really only have Atletico in the rear view mirror. But, even there it’s really only about first or second and not really a fight for a qualifying spot.
7. FA Cup is still ongoing for some of the English squads.
Two English teams are still needing to field squads for the FA Cup. Manchester United faced Wolves and Manchester City beat Swansea by 3-2.
The Copa Del Rey is set for Barcelona, but not played until the 25th of May against Valencia. Juventus was knocked out of the Coppa Italia. FC Porto have one game left to play (an away leg) before the Champions League quarterfinals start, and if they maintain their 3-0 lead they too will be off until May 25th. Ajax will participate in the KNVB Cup final on May 5th.
Down, but not out!
I’m not ready to write the Brits off, but having to play each other and the other 6 factors sure don’t help!
Last Updated: March 16, 2019