Premier dominance is certainly not a given

It's fair to say there was quite a lot of hype surrounding the performances of English teams during the first legs of the Champions League last-16 ties.

Sunday, 4th March 2018, 5:00 pm
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with Andres Iniesta during the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen, first leg match at Stamford Bridge. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

Manchester City and Liverpool have an absolute cruise to get through.

Will they be joined by any of the other three?

Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United all have plenty of work to do.

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None of those teams have a lead and you can make a case for any of them missing out.

Spurs are in good form but Juventus will hope to score first at Wembley on Wednesday and if that happens could still progress.

It’s odds against Chelsea after Lionel Messi’s goal earned Barcelona a 1-1 draw.

The Blues will need to be in brilliant form at the Camp Nou to have any chance.

Manchester United will start as favourites against Sevilla.

But the Spanish side got a 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield earlier in the competition and will fancy their chances after the 0-0 first leg in Spain.

They will expect to score at Old Trafford.

Realistically there’s not likely to be five English clubs in the last eight.

Even if that did happen there’s still no guarantee it would mean an English side lifting the trophy for the first time since 2012.

Defending champions Real Madrid can still beat anybody with Ronaldo in the team.

His two goals saw off Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg and they are surely not going to let a 3-1 lead evaporate on Tuesday.

Bayern Munich were equally as impressive as Manchester City and Liverpool in their first leg match, they do have the attacking talent to go toe-to-toe with those teams.

Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski both scored twice in their emphatic 5-0 demolition of hapless Besiktas.

Manchester City certainly don’t have three trophies already in the bag like many people seem to be taking for granted.

They play a routine match against Basel on Wednesday but they haven’t faced a good team in the competition yet.

Liverpool will easily progress against Porto on Tuesday and with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all on top form they have the fire-power to worry any of the very top teams.

Defensively they aren’t strong though and were twice held to draws by Sevilla in the group stage.

Top quality opposition will get plenty of chances against Jürgen Klopp’s team.

You have to pick Manchester City and Liverpool as the best English hopes but it will be very interesting to see how they cope when really tested.