1. ITV Report

With five English teams in the UCL knockout phase for the first time, here's a look at their strengths and weaknesses

Marcus Rashford ended his goal drought with a well-taken finish against CSKA. Photo: PA

England will have five teams in the last 16 of the Champions League when the draw for the first knockout stage is made on Monday.

It will be the first time that any nation has had as many teams in the last 16 of European football's premier competition.

Here's a look at the strengths and weaknesses of England's representatives.



Chelsea have the experience to go deep in the competition and possess a winning mentality after coasting to the Premier League title last season. Antonio Conte's tactical knowledge will also stand them in good stead in two-legged ties. Plenty of cutting edge, too, with the outstanding Eden Hazard's creative brilliance supplemented by the scoring touch of Alvaro Morata.

Eden Hazard inspired his side to a home draw against Atletico Madrid. Credit: PA


The demands of balancing the Premier League and Champions League have put a strain on the squad. If injuries and suspensions hit, Chelsea might be light in some areas - underlining the fears that Conte had over what he perceived as a lack of transfer activity last summer. Eight goals conceded in six group games also suggests a vulnerability at the heart of the defence.

David Luiz has played a reduced role since Chelsea's defeat away to Roma. Credit: PA



As ever, no opponent will relish visiting Anfield and contending with one of the most fevered atmospheres on Champions League nights. On the pitch, Liverpool's attacking armoury will also test the best. The 'Fab Four' of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are capable of destroying any defence.

Firmino, Mane, Coutinho and Salah have been dubbed the fab four at Liverpool. Credit: PA


Jurgen Klopp has simply been unable to find the formula for Liverpool to stop leaking goals - often at an alarming rate. Losing a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 in Sevilla summed up the panic which often exists in the Reds' rearguard. Be it defending set-pieces or just making daft individual errors, it is an area which has continually undermined Liverpool's rich seam at the other end.

Dejan Lovren has made several high-profile mistakes this season. Credit: PA

Manchester City


Pep Guardiola was a two-time Champions League-winning coach at Barcelona and his principles based on keeping possession has created slick football at the Etihad Stadium. City have outstanding playmakers in Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, as well as pace and goals from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling out wide. Add the firepower of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus and it is an intoxicating mix.

Man City have a wealth of attacking talent at their disposal. Credit: PA


The defence - particularly if injury-prone captain Vincent Kompany is absent - can be exposed. Nicolas Otamendi has improved but can be guilty of making rash decisions, the back-up defensive cover is not great, and being punished at set-pieces has become a regular theme. Guardiola must also cope with the expectation sure to come on his side during the tournament's latter stages.

Otamendi has scored some vital goals for Man City but his defending remains suspect. Credit: PA

Manchester United


Jose Mourinho has built a trademark team, one based on solid defensive organisation and raw physical power. United conceded only three goals in winning their group and probably have the best goalkeeper in world football in David De Gea. Mourinho has tasted Champions League glory at Porto and Inter Milan and his tactical ability to influence the biggest games endures.

David De Gea is widely hailed as the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment. Credit: PA


Despite the good form of veterans Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young, the suspicion remains that United are short in the full-back areas. So much so that Mourinho will probably continue to target this department in the next transfer window. United have plenty of forward options, but do they have the striker to make the difference with Romelu Lukaku yet to prove that he can puncture the top defences?

Romelu Lukaku's form has dipped against the big sides across Europe. Credit: PA



Any side with Harry Kane in it can be relied upon to score goals. Kane's lethal finishing saw Spurs finish above European champions Real Madrid in their section, proving that Mauricio Pochettino's side are no respecters of reputation. The guile of Christian Eriksen can also unlock defences, as can a fully-firing Dele Alli, and Tottenham's team ethic is capable of taking them a long way.

Harry Kane has proven himself as one of Europe's most lethal marksmen. Credit: PA


The depth of the Spurs squad is a major concern, particularly when juggling Premier League and European commitments. The loss of Toby Alderweireld has been sharply felt and Spurs will hope that the Belgian international returns as quickly as possible to shore up a defence which has been conceding sloppy goals of late. No trophy under Pochettino also chips away at their confidence.

Toby Alderweireld has been a big loss for Spurs at the heart of their defence. Credit: PA