BT pundit Trevor Francis believes Manchester City will progress the furthest in the Champions League out of the English sides this season, and tipped Arsenal and Chelsea to struggle, according to BT Sport.
This is hardly an amazing bit of insight, as the Citizens have far and away the easiest draw in the last 16. Chelsea are likely to struggle against Ligue 1’s finest PSG – who have knocked them out of Europe in the past – while we undoubtedly have the toughest challenge being drawn against Barcelona.
With a comparatively easy draw, City are up against Dynamo Kyiv – widely considered to be one of the minnows of the last 16. Manuel Pellegrini’s side have a great chance of progressing, while we (and Chelsea) could struggle.
However, that’s not exactly taking form into account. Manchester City have been struggling recently, losing consecutive games to title rivals Leicester City and Tottenham as they slip down the table. Conversely, Chelsea have been in fine form since the sacking of Jose Mourinho, and Guus Hiddink is so far undefeated as Chelsea manager – with a 5-1 win over Newcastle their latest achievement.
We’re coming off the back of a 2-1 over Leicester City, but aside from that and a win over Bournemouth, we haven’t been in the best form so far in 2016. Things look to be changing obviously, but Barcelona are arguably the best side in Europe at the moment, so we’ll need a couple of fantastic performances and a little bit of luck to get into the next round.
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In the same segment, Paul Ince suggested Chelsea may be dark horses in the competition. If they were to navigate their way past PSG then they would certainly be in with a chance, but we’re yet to see Chelsea tested in Europe since Jose Mourinho’s departure.