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2018-19 UEFA Champions League draw: How will the English teams fare?

ANALYST
Feature
1.29K   //    31 Aug 2018, 09:33 IST

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The UEFA Champions League draw proves both an exciting but nervous time for fans and players, as they wait to find out their opponents in the group stages of the Champions League. This draw can single-handedly determine a club's European campaign and even the fate of some players and managers.

The four English teams will look for favorable draws in this season's group stage, as they look to end a seven-year wait for an English champion, with Chelsea lifting the European Cup back in 2012.

Last season, however, proved to be one of English football's better campaigns in recent years, as Liverpool went all the way to the final, defeating Manchester City in the quarter-finals.

Although Tottenham fell at the last sixteen, their performances against Juventus showed plenty of promise, as many of the Spurs team got their first taste of knock-out football in the Champions League.

Last year's draws were rather kind to the English teams, as four of the five Premier League teams topped their groups. The 2018-19 draw, however, brought up some nightmare ties for the English sides, with Liverpool facing difficult assignments in PSG and Napoli and Manchester United having to progress a group containing Juventus and a resurgent Valencia.


Tottenham

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Christian Eriksen scoring against Real Madrid in last season's Champions League

Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan

Tottenham's Champions League group features many similarities with the teams they were put up against last time around. This group contains an elite European giant in Barcelona and a very capable outfit in Inter Milan, who will look to establish themselves as a major threat in European competition once more.

Although PSV Eindhoven won the Eredivisie last season, finishing four points above former European champions Ajax, Tottenham should relish the opportunity of taking all six points from the Dutch side.

Spurs' first placed finish in a group containing Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund should put them in good stead ahead of their fixtures against Barcelona and Inter Milan in particular.

Although Mauricio Pochettino's side convincingly beat Madrid 3-1 at Wembley, their 1-1 remains one of English football's best performances away from Europe in recent years. Pochettino bravely went with an old-school 4-4-2 away from home, with Harry Kane and Fernando Llorente leading the line for Spurs, as they looked to press Madrid high-up the park.

Barcelona will most likely prove Tottenham's toughest test, with a formidable front-line consisting of the great Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Ousmane Dembele. The reinforcements of Phillipe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal add further strength to an already impressive line-up, with Vidal's steel and physicality adding a different dimension to Ernesto Valverde's side.

Inter Milan possess one of the continent's most prolific strikers in Mauro Icardi who scored 29 goals in 34 Serie A appearances, with World Cup finalists Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic more than capable of hurting a side.

The Italian side only scaped into this season's Champions League, finishing level on points with fifth-placed Lazio, as they benefitted from a superior head-to-head record.

Tottenham may discover problems in the knock-out stages should they get there, due to a lack of squad depth and no new signings.


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ANALYST
19-year-old student. Loves all things tennis and football
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