Winter may catch up with the English elite as Champions League resumes | Barry Glendenning

Guardian

The Premier League’s lack of downtime is much maligned – but few clubs are truly idle over an ever more frenzied ChristmasThe Champions League returns this week and, for many, the most thrilling football tournament in Europe and arguably the world starts now. The wheat has been separated from the chaff, the Juves and Bayerns from the Qarabags and Maribors. As the first country in the history of the competition to have five teams through to the last 16, England’s interest in the knockout stages has never been greater, even if José Mourinho believes it will end sooner rather than later because of the absence of a winter break in the football calendar.Speaking in November, the Manchester United manager poo-poohed the notion that this might be an English team’s time to end a barren Champions League spell dating b...

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