It’s been a while since three of four English clubs playing the Champions League face elimination before the last game in the group stage. Manchester United’s tie at the “Theater of Dreams” against Benfica and Manchester City’s loss in Napoli might have just set the stage for a bad awakening.
With Chelsea facing a “deciding” match at Bayer Leverkusen, they might just join the club. What’s the situation? Manchester City is already in the terrible situation that they completely depend on help from others. In other words, besides of winning their own game against Bayern Munich, they also need a Villareal win, or at least a tie, against Napoli. Tall order. City looks like they continue in the Europa League for the rest of the season.
Manchester City has an advantage. They can manage moving on on their own. They just need to win in Basel in order to be sure to advance. There is a pretty high chance that United is going to do so. However, there is a real chance that they might continue in the Europa League as well. Basel already snatched 3 points from United, in the “Theater of Dreams”.
Chelsea is a group with Leverkusen, Valencia and Genk. A Valencia win against Genk tomorrow and a Leverkusen win against Chelsea will leave the English 1 point down of Leverkusen and tied with Valencia. The last game in that group is Valencia at Stamford Bridge. And there, “the grapes are not hanging that high anymore”.
There is a lot of theory in this “speculation”. However, in the past years, there weren’t many moments when the English clubs were subject to such discussion. This fact alone leaves a lot of space for discussion.
It is usually agreed on that the Barclay’s English Premier League is the strongest league in the world. It might be wise to start reconsider that and possibly, like in the business world, just downgrade a notch: The top four in England are top European contenders. It is certainly not more at this point, even if they still all advance.