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How equipped are the Premier League qualifiers for the CL knock-outs?

For some it was plain sailing, for others it took late goals and saves to make it through by the skin of their teeth – however all four Premier League clubs are into the Champions League knock-outs. 

The two Manchester clubs, City and United, plus Tottenham and Liverpool, will be in the draw for the last 16 at 11am on Monday morning. 

Here, Sportsmail examines which of the teams is best equipped to deal with the most demanding club cup competition on the continent… 

All four Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, are into the Champions League knock-outs

How did they get there?

Manchester City: A shock 0-2 home defeat to Lyon aside, Pep Guardiola’s men had the smoothest route through to the knock-outs of the four English sides. A point in the return game in France secured their passage, and a draw at home to winless Hoffenheim on Wednesday will secure top spot in Group F.

Manchester United: Like City, Jose Mourinho’s side qualified with a game to spare, although for a while it looked set to be much less comfortable. Home games against Valencia and Juventus ended in a draw and defeat, leaving them facing elimination before a stunning late win in Turin, and a snatched 1-0 victory over Young Boys sent them through in second place.

Tottenham: With one point from three games, Spurs were staring down the barrel, with posters proclaiming their unfinished stadium as the only place to watch the Champions League in London adding to the humiliation. Yet home wins against PSV and Inter Milan gave them hope, before Lucas Moura’s 85th-minute equaliser in Barcelona saw them sneak ahead of the Italians at the death.

Liverpool: Away from home, Jurgen Klopp’s team were hopeless in Group C – stung in Napoli, shocked at Red Star, outplayed by PSG. Yet at Anfield they claimed three impressive wins and last season’s finalists made it through the trickiest pool in second place.

Lucas Moura's 85th-minute equaliser in Barcelona saw Tottenham sneak into the last 16

Lucas Moura’s 85th-minute equaliser in Barcelona saw Tottenham sneak into the last 16

How well equipped are they for the last 16?

Manchester City: If you believe Guardiola and his assertion that they only have 15 players currently available due to injury, City could be stretched when it comes to balancing league and cup in the second half of the season. In reality, the Premier League champions are the strongest English side in this competition and rightly among the favorites to lift the trophy for the first time.

Manchester United: A chaotic season at Old Trafford, with Mourinho falling out with his players, the media, the fans, seemingly everyone except the tea lady. Yet as the Chelsea side of 2012 will attest, a poor domestic season is no barrier to Champions League success. United are not pretty, but on their day are not easily beaten.

Tottenham: As exemplified by third choice right back Kyle Walker-Peters being caught in possession, leading to Barcelona’s goal on Tuesday, Spurs have the thinnest squad of all the English Champions League sides. Their best starting XI however, featuring Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and more, has a good claim to being one of the strongest in Europe.

Liverpool: They may have squeezed through their group, but there is a convincing argument that this side is much stronger than the one which reached the final in May. A front line featuring Mo Salah remains capable of blowing teams away, while they now possess a world class goalkeeper and, in Virgil van Dijk, one of the world’s best defenders.

Manchester City are rightly among the favorites to lift the trophy for their first time

Manchester City are rightly among the favorites to lift the trophy for their first time

Have they got any recent European pedigree?

Manchester City: Perhaps the major argument against City going all the way is that they have been to this rodeo before, and have been thrown off the horse. City have only reached the semi-final once, where they were outplayed by Real Madrid, and in two campaigns under Guardiola were stunned by Monaco and well beaten last season by Liverpool.

Manchester United: Since reaching the 2011 final, United have not been beyond the quarter final stages of the Champions League, and last season were humbled by a Sevilla side far from the strongest in the competition. They won the Europa League in 2017 but this generation are yet to fully convince at the highest level.

Tottenham: Not in the knock-out stages – the run under Harry Redknapp to the quarter finals was seven years ago. Last season they looked magnificent as they topped their group ahead of eventual champions Real Madrid, and seemed set fair for the quarter finals against Juventus, before two goals in four minutes by the Italians at Wembley ended lilywhite dreams.

Liverpool: Forget all the talk about history, this current Reds side are writing European stories of their own – they have made the finals of their last two competitions (2016 Europa League and last season’s Champions League). They know what is needed to win high-pressure knock-out matches – except the biggest tie of all. 

Manchester United are struggling domestically, but cannot be ruled out of contention

Manchester United are struggling domestically, but cannot be ruled out of contention

Do their managers have Champions League knockout experience?

Manchester City: There is a theory that Guardiola struggles to translate his domestic dominance onto the European stage, after failing to win the Champions League at Bayern Munich and two disappointing eliminations with City. However he won the competition twice with Barcelona and, as long as his side start their games strongly, could add a third this season.

Manchester United: Mourinho also has two Champions League titles to his name, with Porto in 2004 and Inter in 2010. The former saw him go all the way with an underdog, the latter a side focused on defence. United are a combination of those factors this season, which means they cannot be ruled out.

Tottenham: Pochettino, while loved by the Spurs fans and having done a brilliant job to get them to this stage of Europe in consecutive seasons, has a massive job on his hands to take them further, and has not yet done so as a manager. Anything beyond the last 16 is uncharted territory for him and his players.

Liverpool: Klopp is a two time Champions League finalist – with Borussia Dortmund in 2013, and the Reds last season – yet while he knows how to get teams to the showpiece event, he is yet to win the competition.