What Frank Lampard said about each English clubs’ CL chances back in September

It’s been a mixed bag for English clubs in the Champions League this season.

So much was promised after the group stages, but one by one the English clubs started to fall.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United all fell in the last-16 as they were defeated by Barcelona, Juventus and Sevilla respectively.

Manchester City made it a further round, but they were dispatched by Premier League rivals, Liverpool.

Now, the Merseyside club are the only English side that remains in the competition.

That may come as a surprise to many, with pundits, such as Gary Lineker, ranking them as the least likely out of the Premier League sides to win the competition.

They have proven almost everyone wrong, and have the chance of taking home the silverware when they face Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday.

But how did BT Sport pundit Frank Lampard think that each club would do?

He wrote down his thoughts in his column for the Evening Standard before a ball was even kicked in September.

And it makes for very interesting viewing indeed…

Lampard thought that Chelsea had the best chances of the five English teams in the competition, thinking they could go all the way to the final. Awkward.

“I think they have the potential to go all the way,” he wrote. “Defensively, Chelsea are as good as anybody.

“The structure that Conte set up last season with three at the back clearly works as they won the title and they have added a few players in midfield – Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater give them depth.

“When I look at the other English teams in the Champions League, some of them will struggle at the back, whereas Chelsea have a great base.”

Oh dear.

Liverpool have well and truly proven Lampard wrong.

The former English international thought that Liverpool would get out the group-stages, but that their lack of depth will hold them back later in the competition.

“I’m not sure their squad is quite strong enough to fight at that top level,” he wrote.

‘I think they will get through the group, but I’m not sure that have enough depth, especially at the back and up front, to go all the way.”

A decent prediction. Lampard thought they would get to the last four, but doubted they would win due to concerns at the back.

“Attacking wise they have as good a group of players as anyone in Europe,” he explained. “That could take them to the last four, but defensively that’s where the problem lies, particularly if Vincent Kompany doesn’t stay fit.

“I certainly feel they are more vulnerable when Kompany isn’t at the back and that’s been the case for a few years now. They miss his defensive ability and character when the centre back is injured.”

Lampard felt pretty confident Jose Mourinho’s side would get to the last eight. He was wrong.

“They will comfortably get through their group,” he said. “With the squad they have now and how manager Jose Mourinho is, you have to say they will get to the last eight at the very least.

“Mourinho is their biggest asset. They had a very average Premier League season, but when it came to the crunch in the cup games, Mourinho did the business.

“Mourinho comes up with a way to win games.”

Tottenham were handed a tough group as they were paired alongside Dortmund and Real Madrid.

But they passed that test with flying colours.

Lampard refrained from giving a prediction, but did hint that they would go home early if they didn’t resolve their Wembley form.

“To get through the group in the Champions League, you cannot lose your early home matches because that makes qualifying very difficult,” he wrote.

“It is something they have to address. Their poor record will be on everyone’s minds – the players and the fans.

“Borussia Dortmund won’t make it easy. They are a very quick team, play on the counter-attack and will be motivated themselves.

“Wembley provides them with an incentive anyway, but this is also where they lost the Champions League Final to Bayern Munich in 2013 and will want to create some happier memories.”

Lampard has proven himself to be one of the leading pundits in England, but his Champions League predictions before a ball was even kicked do not look very good at all.