Frank Lampard is hopeful Premier League clubs are on the cusp of another golden period in the Champions League.
From Liverpool’s stunning comeback and penalty shoot-out triumph over AC Milan in 2005 to Chelsea’s win via the same means against Bayern Munich in 2012, English clubs were represented in seven out of eight Champions League finals.
Lampard was on the scoresheet before Chelsea lost on spot kicks in an all-Premier League affair against Manchester United in Moscow in 2008, but no English side has featured in the European showpiece since the Blues’ triumph in Munich.
This season, Manchester City and Tottenham have booked their spots in the knockout stages with two group games to spare.
Manchester United are virtually certain to join them in matchweek five, when Liverpool and Chelsea can also qualify.
“What’s exciting for English football is that we have five teams that are performing very well in the groups,” Lampard, who concluded his Premier League career with a season at Manchester City, told Omnisport during a Yokohama event at the British Embassy in Tokyo.
“Sometimes in football you have cycles. The last three years haven’t been good for the English teams and I think now you’re going to see the emergence of the strength of the English teams, so it’s hard to say which team has got the best chance.”
On Monday, City boss Pep Guardiola played down the notion of the Premier League leaders being favourites for continental glory on the back of their sparkling form this season.
Lampard feels both of his former employers in the competition have strong claims as pretenders to Real Madrid’s crown.
“On current form you’ve got to say Manchester City, but if you look at Chelsea and their performance against Atletico Madrid away from home it was the perfect away performance,” he said, before discussing Tottenham taking four points off from back-to-back clashes with the European champions.
“Tottenham against Real Madrid, they were very good so we should celebrate now that English teams are really competitive again,” Lampard added.
“I hope not just Chelsea, but English teams make it into the semi-finals and the finals because it’s good for us.