London: Former Chelsea and AC Milan manager, Carlo Ancelloti said that English football 'is not very well' and feels that Chelsea and Arsenal will struggle to beat the Italian clubs in their UEFA Champions League ties.

The Italian, who won the Premier League two years back with Chelsea, felt that football in England has weakened over the years and that the English clubs were in a weak position heading into the knockout stage in Europe.

Teams from England have been very strong in Europe with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal nine out of ten times reaching the quarter-final phase of the premier European competition.

This year, however, the English teams have struggled with Chelsea just about making it to the last 16, while shockingly the two Manchester clubs were knocked out of the competition early.

'They are balanced matches with the Italians as favourites,' Ancelotti said. 'Italian football has made steps forward and after the elimination of City and United, English football is not very well.'

The Italian tactician also felt that Napoli, who face Chelsea next, will be the favourites to go to the next round, while he believes Milan should have no problems against the other London club, Arsenal.

'Napoli can play Chelsea as equals. Napoli have already had a little difficult period, but it seems they're getting back on track.'

'I am a Milan fan, so I find it hard to be rational. But they are superior to Arsenal. They have great players,' he said.

(Agencies)