Many Liverpool and Nottingham Forrest fans will remind us of the glory days of the late 1970's when the English first division was widely viewed as the pinnacle of European Football. Liverpool and Nottingham Forrest won 5 European trophies in consecutive years from 1977-1982. Aston Villa then got in on the action the following year, making it 6 European titles on the bounce for English sides. This was the golden age of English football that saw legends of the game like Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish grace the English top division, gaining it global recognition as the greatest league in the world.

The Premier League Era

Today we still often hear pundits proclaim the Premier League is the best league in the world. It is by far the most watched football league on the planet, broadcasting in 212 territories, to 643million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7bilion people. Since the 2013-14 season, due to improved T.V. revenues and cost controls, The Premier League has had net annual profits in excess of £78milion, exceeding all other football leagues. This revenue allows the Premier League sides unrivalled spending power, amounting to an accumulative spend of £1.4billion in the latest transfer window, breaking their own previous record. The massive war chest that The Premier League possesses has allowed it to attract world-class talent such as Morata, Lacazete and Paul Pogba, who came to United for a world record transfer fee of £90million which stood until PSG splashed out a staggering £198million for Neymar this summer.

Even with this talent, you have to go back as far as 2012 to recall the last time an English club lifted Europe's premier trophy when underdogs Chelsea overcame overwhelming odds to beat Munich at the Allianz Arena in Germany.

In recent years English fans have had to make do with the once looked down upon Europa League as their only means of European glory.

Out of the 4 teams that qualified for the Champions League last season, all 4 failed to progress through the last 16. Tottenham didn't even make it out of their group and subsequently lost to Gent in the Europa League early rounds. The English sides have been well off the mark with Arsenal suffering a punishing 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich resulting in an all too familiar early exit for Arsenal and their fans.

Manchester United rescued their season with a Europa League triumph, a competition which former boss Sir Alex Ferguson called a "second-rate competition". The Manchester club beat an underwhelming Ajax outfit in the final to lift the trophy and more importantly secure a place in this seasons Champions League.

The 2017-18 Campaign

United's inclusion means the Premier League has 5 representatives in the competition this year. They join Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham by winning their first 2 games in this year's competition. It is only Liverpool who have failed to achieve a 100 percent record thus far but still finds themselves positioned second in their group which would see them qualify. Premier League champions Chelsea have already beaten Athletico Madrid in their own backyard after a scintillating last-minute goal from super-sub Michy Batshuayi secured Chelsea 3 points.

This game may prove to be the catalyst for the English clubs who will want more of the same in the coming months. All 5 teams look poised to pose a real threat this year and make it to the last 8 if they can obtain a potentially favourable draw if they top their groups.

Can an English Club lift the trophy?

United, Liverpool and Chelsea have proven pedigree at European level with 9 European trophies between them and will be biting at the bit to get another. United and Chelsea contested a final with each other as recently as 2008 and will both be seeking a return to the big stage. They both have the talent and depth in their squads to mount a real challenge. Liverpool may have their defensive frailties but they still have one of the most potent attacks in Europe that can give any defence a difficult night.

Manchester City will feel it is time to convert their domestic success into European silverware and with Pep Guardiola at the helm, there is no reason to believe that they won't rein victorious come May. Pochettino's Spurs will also like their chances of going far in the competition after their early success against Dortmund. They will believe that they can go all the way if they can keep the likes of Harry Kane fit and firing on all cylinders. Their main disadvantage, however, is having European giants Real Madrid lurking in their group and posing a serious threat to Spurs qualification hopes.

Only time will tell if the gruelling domestic timetables will once again prove too much for the English sides or if this is the year the teams squad size and depth will overcome the challenges presented to them.