The BIG Question: Will We See English Champions League Winners This Season?

Chris Wright

5th, August 2011


Sit back and watch the best of the 2011/2012 Champions League group stage action live with Sky Sports HD.

Granted, it’s a little premature seeing as though the full compliment of entrants is yet to be confirmed and the groups aren’t actually going to be drawn out of FIFA’s perspex fishbowls until the 25th August, but this is the last of our pre-season posers and we thought we’d go out with a bit of a whopper.

As per, there are four English candidates vying to prise the Big Cup from Barcelona’s dinky fingers come next May. As things stand, perennials Manchester United and Chelsea are joined in the group stage pot by newcomers Manchester City – though it remains to be seen whether the fourth hopeful will make it that far.

Arsenal have (as of about an hour ago) been stuck with a potentially perilous two-leg qualifying play-off against Udinese which is, in-keeping with the Gunners’ pre-season travails, just about the trickiest tie they could have landed.

It’ll be a f**king disgrace if Chelsea don’t reach the last eight

Going by previous seasons, you’ve got to expect that Chelsea and United will be there or thereabouts come the latter knockout stages, though Man City’s debut foray into the Champions League will be where the real intrigue lies for the majority of neutrals – it’s high time for several of the the Sheik’s expensively amassed egos to either put up or shut up as to whether they truly belong on European football’s grandest stage.

You can hang your hat on Chelsea rumbling their way through round upon round and, after having their collective hides tanned by Barca in last year’s final, United have spent the summer regenerating, replacing the old and the jaded with the enthusiastic and the naive – will the fresh blood coursing through the club’s veins be enough to hump themselves over the line this time around?

So, time for the BIG question to go out: Can you honestly envisage an English side lifting the Champions League trophy at the Allianz Arena next Spring? if so, which one are you pinning your optimism on?

Or is it just one big moot point as long as the entire city of Barcelona doesn’t disappear into the Mediterranean at any juncture in the near future?

This season, Sky Sports will offer more than 129 live matches from the UEFA Champions League on Sky Sports HD2, Sky Sports HD4 and via the red button, including live coverage of the final qualifying round in August – including Arsenal’s two-legger with Udinese on the 16th and 23rd.

Throughout the tournament Sky Sports will show up to 15 live matches per week across the Group Stage including every match on Tuesday nights.

Please note however, that all fixture are liable to change – we wouldn’t want you to miss out!

Sign up with Sky Sports Football and feast your peepers on action from the 2011/2012 Champions League in glorious HD.

Posted in Champions League, Featured, Opinion

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  1. The Weasel says:


  2. Hasselhof says:

    NOPE. Because Bayern will win ;)

  3. Markell says:

    City will make the Quarterfinal at least

  4. jon says:

    Real Madrid or Barcelona.

  5. KingEric7 says:

    I just can’t see anyone beating Barcelona, the only team to do it in last years CL were Arsenal led by Fabregas, except this year he will be playing for the other side! That combined with the addition of Sanchez and emergence of Thiago Alcantara means they’ve got so much attacking depth, I just can’t see any other squad being close.

  6. AJM says:

    Barca can certainly be beaten by a team willing and capable of playing ultra defensive in a 2-leg tie. But the list of teams like that is very small. I actually think City would be capable and they are certainly willing to park the bus. United’s “problem” in the last 2 finals is that they tried to beat Barca playing their own game instead of stopping Barca from playing theirs. In that case, Barca will continue to beat all comers. In a final though, it would be even tougher for any side so if they are to be knocked off, it will have to happen in an earlier round and it won’t be pretty.

  7. MrMac says:

    Mourinho’s Vengeance this year will be swift, hard and to the point.

    I believe with mourinho in full control now, it will show and i believe he’ll be succesful.

    My chelsea heart hopes for AVB, but i’m still waiting on how the hell we’re going to do that without someone giving drogba/torres any balls.
    Can’t rely on frank to playmake something.

    I expect city to fall under pressure and crash out before second round.

    Arsenal(Yes theyll beat udinese, maybe not by much but they will), United, Chelsea… the usual 3 will make it to the second rounds, how far tho is interesting.

  8. Les says:

    Chelsea and United least the semi finals (esp united who just always seem to be in the final even with progressively “weaker” squads). Arsenal, quarters but if fabregas leaves then they won’t even make the knockout rounds. City will do well, many of their first 11 already have champs league experience (and i believe yaya toure and balotelli at least have already won it once).

  9. Kkk says:

    It’s the luck of the draw.

  10. MotherGoose says:

    Barca’s time is over. They had a good run, but Xavi’s legs are too beat up now to play all the games he has been the past few years so the team will suffer. I expect Madrid to win La Liga and make it to the final of the Champions League.

    Manchester United are the only English club that can go to the Champions League final. Chelsea are in a downward spiral, I expect Villa-Boas to be sacked before the season is over. Arsenal don’t have the players to make it in Europe, and City don’t have chance in hell.

    A lot can happen over the next 9 months, but I expect United v Madrid in the Final.

  11. L says:

    I’d put my money on Real Madrid or Barcelona, most likely Barcelona again.

  12. says:

    the answer is no

  13. Montesquieu says:

    For fack sakes, the last team to successfully defend the trophy was AC Milan in 1990. Statistically speaking, I don’t foresee Barcelona winning the trophy twice in a row just because no team in 21 years (going on 22) has been capable of repeating such feat.

  14. […] Ashley Cole is hungrier than ever for Champions League -Who Ate All The Piesall 16 news […]

  15. Tinez says:

    Nah, Barcelona are just a class above any other team in the world. They are too technically talented.

    Absolut Nichts wird Bayern gewinnen. Das ist klar.

  16. Jorgito_coco says:

    Sadly, I don’t think any counter attacking team, like United, can defeat Barcelona. If Real Madrid decides to man up and start playing real football, I think they have a shot. Otherwise Barcelona will win it again.

    I like English football but I feel like the only team that doesn’t wait for the counter attack is Arsenal and their midfield is dismantled completely.

    If Fergie fixes United’s midfield problem, then I think that United will take it all!!!

  17. Jean says:

    @ MotherGoose Barca is much more than just Xavi and besides Villa, are all young. Messi (24) Pedro (24) Sanchez (22); Iniesta (27) Busquets (23) Thiago (20); Alves (28) Pique (24) and hopefully soon Cesc (24)

  18. Varun says:

    Counter-attacking the best way to win against Barca.
    You can’t out-pass them. No team from the last 150 years could achieve that.

    Have Pace, direct-play and you reach 50-50% from 1-99% if you don’t

  19. pete says:

    if barca aren’t handed the trophy on a silver platter as they have been in recent years, per refereeing and lack of disciplining players post match, then chelsea should win it. no other side has the combination of quality, athleticism and experience not to mention the injection of youngsters Sturridge and Mceachran

  20. pete says:

    They can be out passed and beat at their own game, if the opponent has slightly better finishing and/or defending in the box. barca squanders a lot of chances, but most of the ones they are able to manufacture are only half chances. their big opportunities in matches vs other big clubs come from counters or winning possession in the opponents half, they rarely score on top clubs with deliberate long buildups.

  21. The Ostrich says:

    I find this question curious because when the “english” teams dont have many english players its kinda hard to answer. I mean Arsenal is pretty much all French speakers…

  22. The Ostrich says:

    and i dont mean that in any negative way at all., just saying.

  23. Justin says:

    I believe that the CL title will be going back to Spain this year, however it will be for a different team. I look for Mourinho’s Madrid to unseat Barcelona as the best club in the world. A second year Mourinho team is a VERY dangerous thing (check the history). With the additions they’ve made their depth is scary, yes even without the striker that Mourinho claims to need.

    Barcelona on the other hand will still play their beautiful flowing football, and they most certainly will be a force to be reckoned with. The addition of Sanchez was a necessary and it will most certainly be helpful. But it is my belief that the Catalan club will lack somewhat at the rearguard. The injured and aging Puyol simply will not be able to play week in and week out, let alone several times a week as Barcelona’s schedule demands. With the exodus of Gabby Milito, they lack in healty traditional centerbacks. Pique being the only one except for Puyol. Mascherano and Busquets can fill in respectively at that position but the situation is certainly not ideal. This team, without reinforcements can most certainly be beat.

    As for the English clubs, I don’t see many outside of United making a big splash. However with all the new signings and an influx of youngsters it will be interesting to see if Sir Alex can guide them as far as last year. A difficult task but certainly not impossible.

    Chelsea are a strong side, albeit they are aging. They still lack a creative midfielder and that will render their potent attack force useless. It will be interesting to see what Villas-Boas is able to achieve with this side his first year in charge.

    Manchester City have the components to be a real threat in all competitions but I think that their lack of Champions League experience will really prevent this side from going deep into the Champions League.

    Arsenal have the same problem they have had for a few years now. They lack a boss on the field. They need a Viera 2.0. Someone to enforce, get rugged and grab a match by the scruff of its neck and see it through to the end. Instill TOUGHNESS within the side. Without that player they will be the same old Arsenal. Pretty football but they will falter when it comes to the big matches.

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