Manchester City may be reigning Premier League champions and Liverpool were last season's runners-up, but - out of all clubs from England - it is Chelsea who are the "best equipped" to progress the furthest in the current edition of the Champions League, according to former Manchester United captain and Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville.
Jose Mourinho's Blues banked a point after a 1-1 draw with Schalke 04 in the first round of fixtures in the group stage and take on Sporting Lisbon tomorrow evening, who themselves are looking to improve on their own tie score registered against Maribor.
"Chelsea are the best equipped team to do something in Europe this year," said Neville on Sky Sports.
Indeed, it seems the presence of Mourinho with his elite-level tactical nous, as well as the additions of exquisite summer recruits Diego Costa and Francesc Fabregas, have all heightened Chelsea's overall ability.
For Neville, it is a case of being adaptability. Of having the technical know-how to sit back, keep things tight defensively and then spring a successful counter-attack while also knowing how - and when - to simply keep the ball.
"They have the adaptability to defend then counter attack and keep possession all the while," he said. "Mourinho as a coach can manage big games and they are the stand out team," he added in what is perhaps an acknowledgment of Mourinho as a two-time Champions League titlist.
"They are a good defensive unit," noted Neville. "They look like a team who have been around the block and have players with a high level of intelligence."
On their opponents this week, he said: "Sporting Lisbon away will be tough, but overall they'll have too much for them."