According to both Arsène Wenger and Louis van Gaal, the Premier League teams are struggling in Europe because they face the biggest tests domestically.
Where Bayern Munich and Barcelona can expect routine victories most weekends, the best teams in England often struggle against strong opponents from the same league.
The two managers both saw their sides lose their opening Champions League games of the season but have started the Premier League campaign strongly, but that didn’t stop them from using the domestic challenge as the reason for their struggles abroad.
“The Premier League is a very difficult league. To beat your opponent every week is not easy, it is always a struggle and a battle,” van Gaal said.
“Then you have to play again midweek in the Champions League and that is the difference between all the clubs in Europe.
“I say we have to play Sunday-Tuesday, Sunday-Wednesday, so between the matches we cannot recover all of the tiredness.
“Then we have to play against a European squad who is willing to give everything against us.
“They don’t have a rat race in their competition and that is the difference,” the Manchester United manager explained.
Speaking at Monday’s press conference, Arsène Wenger agreed.
“That’s the problem – when you go to Leicester and see who sits on the bench, that has changed in England,” the Frenchman told the media. “It makes every game very difficult and demands a lot of mental concentration to get it right as well.
“We want to do well in the Champions League and when you’re a big club you have to face that and deal with it.”
Both clubs have the resources to have big squads full of players of the very highest calibre, so now it is down to them to use their players smartly.
Manchester United top the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s game against Arsenal, who are three points behind. First things first, both teams play in the Champions League in midweek, but one eye is certainly already on Sunday’s clash.