The UEFA Champions League is set to commence this Tuesday, with lots of teams looking to snatch the title Real Madrid have won three times on the bounce.
Here, Felix D’Great takes a look at some of the big guns and their chances of lifting the ear-shaped trophy next year at the Wanda Metropolitano in Spain.
5. LIVERPOOL | ENGLAND
The five-time European champions made it to the finals last season before losing to a superior Real Madrid side. Jurgen Klopp’s men played some exciting brand of football as Salah, Mane and Firmino blew teams away.
Inexperience and goalkeeping errors cost them the title but the Reds have strengthened their ranks. Bringing in Allison from Roma, Shaqiri from Stoke and Fabinho from Monaco. Nabil Keita also joined the squad from RB Liepzig.
They are ranked 5th on my favorites the trophy this season.
4. BAYERN MUNICH | GERMANY
Always one of the teams to look out for every Champions League season. The Bavarians made it to the semi-finals last season and five of the last seven seasons, winning it in 2013.
The German champions have a new manager in Nico Kovac but it’s largely the same team with a similar style.
Bayern will look to get one step further this season, they are my 4th favourites to lift the trophy.
3. REAL MADRID | SPAIN
Yea, 3 consecutive titles and yet I do not rate them as the top favorites to win this season? Well, blame it on Ronaldo! He left and now I have doubts about this team.
Unarguably, a weaker side without Cristiano Ronaldo, the man who’s led them to four European titles in five years. They would try to show they can win without CR7 but they don’t rank top to defend their title.
There’s also the small matter of Zidane who was replaced as manager by Lopetegui in the summer. We are yet to see what the Spaniard brings to the table.
2. FC BARCELONA | SPAIN
Barcelona would try and reclaim the trophy they have watched arch-rivals Madrid win three times since their last triumph in 2015. The Catalans had a forgettable UCL campaign last season as they were knocked out by Roma after a 4-1 first leg lead.
They strengthened in the summer, bringing in Malcom, Arthur, Lenglet and Vidal while Iniesta left for Asia.
Lionel is always the go-to man but this season he has the added pressure of being captain.
1. JUVENTUS | ITALY
Finalists in two of the last four seasons losing both times to Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Old ladies have been a strong side in the competition recently and with Ronaldo joining, it only gets better.
With five titles to his credit and several golden boots in the competition, the Portuguese is undoubtedly, a big boost for the Turin club.
Juventus was good enough to get to the advanced stages of the competition before, now they have a player that can and should win it for them.