Can we do it again?

Last season we achieved far more than anyone gave us a chance of, we reached the last 16 of the Champion’s League, yes we would like to have done better, but we were up against a Juventus team, stronger than us, and a clueless referee, not that I want to blame the whole thing on him, we didn’t do enough ourselves.
Now to my point, can we really expect to achieve such success, and don’t have any doubt, it was success?
We had to work very hard, had to maybe ride our luck now and then, most teams get some, but we were much stronger last season than we will be this term, the loss of Wanyama and Hooper will be immense, as much for their experience as their contributions.
(I know the answer to this) Should we, as the champions of our country be starting in the second to lowest position of the competition when 4th place in England only have to play only qualifier and the first three go straight into the group stages?
You could say, so long as we make it through, at least it boosts the coffers, gives players experience, all well and good, if we make it, but if we don’t, we are clearly being cheated out of our right as champions, it’s a bit farcical calling it the Champion’s League when so many participants are not and may never have been in years.
Thoughts appreciated folks.

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