The next season of Champions League is looming, and some of the biggest clubs in Europe are facing a troubling reality: Chelsea, Liverpool, and AC Milan all appear to be struggling for a place in one of the most coveted competitions in soccer.
Chelsea has always been a force to be reckoned with on the European stage, but recently they have been struggling to perform. Despite their high profile signings such as Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, they have failed to live up to expectations. The Blues currently sit 4th in the Premier League table, 14 points behind leaders Manchester City. This puts them at serious risk of missing out on Champions League qualification for next season, which would be an unprecedented outcome for a club that has won four titles in the competition since it began.
Chelsea, Liverpool and AC Milan are amongst the most successful teams in Champions League. Despite their impressive track record, these teams have suffered many hardships as of late. Chelsea had a disappointing start to their Champions League campaign this season with two losses against Valencia and Ajax. Liverpool were eliminated from the competition after they failed to win a single group game, while AC Milan are still struggling to qualify for the knockout stages despite winning their first three games. The Italian powerhouse will face an uphill battle against Real Madrid and Club Brugge in the final two matches of their group stage.
Chelsea’s struggles can be attributed to their failure to replace star players like Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois who left last summer. They lacked both quality and depth in certain positions, leading to a lack of cohesion and chemistry on the pitch. Liverpool have also failed to replace experienced players, such as Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge. Furthermore, the Reds have been hit by injuries to key players like Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker which has weakened their title-winning side significantly.
AC Milan’s problems stem from a lack of experience and squad depth at European level coupled with poor financial management over recent years. Their squad is lacking world-class talent compared with fellow competitors in the Champions League; however, they do possess some exciting young prospects such as Rafael Leão who recently scored his first goal for Milan wearing an AC Milan Jersey. Nonetheless, it is unclear if these talented youngsters can help guide them through Europe’s top competition which makes it all the more difficult for Milan this season.