3 reasons Premier League sides are dominating UCL this season
Prem fivesome are unbeaten in the competition
Following five seasons without an English club in the Champions League final, the Premier League clubs are now in the ascendancy in Europe’s top competition.
At the midway point in the Group Stage, all five Premier League sides sit top of their respective groups. Combined, they’ve won 11 games and drawn four. In the process, the fivesome of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have scored 44 goals and shipped just 11.
That’s in marked contrast to recent years, with at least one English side failing to make it past the group stage in each of the last three seasons.
The Coral News Team look at what’s spurred on the Prem resurgence…
Managerial elite thriving in second season
Summer 2016 was a bumper period for the world’s top managers taking the helm at Prem clubs. Pep Guardiola took the reins at the Etihad, while Jose Mourinho finally made his much-rumoured switch to Man United and Antonio Conte arrived at Chelsea.
It didn’t all go to plan for the trio last season, despite both United and the Blues lifting silverware. However, all three sides are beginning to really take shape under those managers in season two.
After inconsistency last term, the Citizens look like Pep’s Barcelona side of the late noughties, with their passing-based, free-flowing attacking football securing an incredible 12 wins in 13 games across all competitions.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils are beginning to successfully grind out key results on a regular basis under Mourinho – including a 1-0 defeat of Tottenham last time out.
As for Chelsea, they’ve continued to be a resilient bunch under Conte, and head into Tuesday’s visit to AS Roma on the back of three successive wins.
Continental contenders losing their lustre
There seems to be something of a see-saw effect taking place as regards the Prem sides and the competition’s other European heavyweights. While Tottenham seem to be coming of age on the UCL stage, some of the established powers look to be fading.
Atletico Madrid have made two of the last four finals, reaching the final eight in all four years. However, Chelsea outclassed the Spanish side on their own turf in a 2-1 win, while Diego Simeone’s men also failed to score against Group C’s minnows Qarabag.
Elsewhere, Tottenham easily despatched a Borussia Dortmund side who’ve won just once in their last five games. And few were shocked when Mauricio Pochettino’s men took a point away at to a Real Madrid side who are eight points off the pace in La Liga.
With a number of the usual big-hitters struggling to get into gear domestically and in Europe, the possibility of an English side lifting this year’s trophy looks ever more likely.
TV money and big-name buys points to golden era
The current three-year TV deal is giving Premier League clubs the astronomical figure of a combined £8.3bn. That’s more than four times as much as La Liga is receiving over the same period, and more than twice that of Ligue 1 or the Bundesliga.
That gap has been visible during this summer’s transfer dealings.
Chelsea have got their hands on Real Madrid ace Alvaro Morata. Man City have swept up Monaco stars Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva. Mega-rich Paris Saint-Germain even saw Serge Aurier angling for his eventual move to Tottenham.
And it’s a cyclical process. If the money keeps coming to the Prem sides, they’ll continue to improve in Europe. And the financial and footballing lure of those clubs will make them increasingly powerful in the transfer market.
An era of English dominance in the Champions League could be just around the corner.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing