Collymore: Here's the only English club who belong in European elite

Chelsea, along with Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona, are one of four clubs who stand out from the rest of Europe. Liverpool, Arsenal must improve.

The failures of Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal in the Champions League mean that only Chelsea are left to fly the England flag in Europe.

Liverpool were recently trounced by Real Madrid, Arsenal may have six points in Group D but demonstrated their numerous weaknesses at Anderlecht while Manchester City face an uphill battle as they are already two points behind AS Roma, who occupy second spot in Group E.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are dominant in Group G having returned seven points from a possible nine, with a two point lead over FC Schalke.

Jose Mourinho's Blues also appear to be the only squad that has elite-level balance, can survive an injury crisis due to squad depth and is managed by a head coach with great tactical acumen.

In just one season, the Portuguese has turned Chelsea's fortunes around and now Stan Collymore believes there is little to separate the Stamford Bridge side from the European elite.

"There are four clubs standing out from the rest in Europe this season: Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea," he wrote for Bleacher Report.

"Chelsea belong in that company; they're so strong in all areas and are genuine contenders for glory in the Champions League.

"Going back to the point about La Liga vs. Premier League, I have no doubt Chelsea would give Madrid a serious run for their money. It might just happen this season."

Chelsea's next fixture in Europe is a match away from home to NK Maribor, ahead of encounters with FC Schalke in Gelsenkirchen and Sporting Lisbon in West London.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch