By Tony Robertson
With the Champions League approaching its climax, English teams will be hoping to lift the trophy of footballs premier club competition.
The last time an English team won the competition was back in 2012 when Chelsea lifted the trophy via a penalty shootout victory over Bayern Munich.
The chances for an English side to win this year are arguably the best they have been in some time.
The last time English teams demonstrated true competitiveness in the Champions League was more than half a decade ago, between 2005 and 2012 where an English team competed in seven of those eight finals, winning three.
Furthermore, with some of the competitions traditional titans already being eliminated, including both Madrid giants, PSG and Borussia Dortmund, English teams will certainly fancying their chances going all the way.
But out of the remaining English teams who has the best chance of winning?
Liverpool, last year’s runners up, are more defensively solid this year with the introduction of goalkeeper Alisson Becker and centre back Virgil van Dijk, while the usual suspects of Liverpool’s front three have continued their scintillating form, scoring 40 between them in all competitions so far.
However, Liverpool’s over-reliance on their attackers mean that if they can be stifled, the lack of goals from elsewhere may hinder their chances.
With Bayern Munich’s elimination at the hands of Liverpool, there are now four English teams remaining.
Manchester City go into the quarter-final draw following the 10-2 aggregate rout of Schalke 04.
Pep Guardiola has largely replicated what his team managed to do last season, but will be hungry to ensure that they do not fall at the same hurdle. City topped group F by five points and have six players who have scored three or more in Europe this season.
Despite this, they have, at times looked vulnerable defensively and are somewhat inexperienced in the knock-out stages compared to some of those who remain.
Manchester United needed to tear up the record book and pull off a stunning if not controversial comeback against PSG to get this far.
United have looked like a completely different team under caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and have made significant progress across the board.
However, many of the issues from earlier in the season still plague them. They continue to leak goals and have a meagre record of just nine goals in eight Champions League games this season. They will need to rectify this to have any chance of progressing.
Like Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur have largely replicated the form of last season but have improved by progressing to the quarter finals for the first time since 2011 after dispatching Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on aggregate.
England captain Harry Kane is amongst the top scorers in the tournament with five goals, with Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen providing support.
However, the lack of transfer activity from Daniel Levy has left Spurs with serious depth issues and any injuries could lead to serious concerns for the North Londoners.
Of the other remaining teams in the competition there are a number of favourable draws, and with Ajax and Porto in the draw at least one English side should be able to progress into the final four.
While none of the teams who remain should be underestimated there is certainly a strong case to be made for any of the English teams winning the trophy.
The draw for the last eight is on Friday 15, March.
Sub edited by Riley Taylor