Very few fans would have predicted that last season’s UEFA Champions League campaign would be decided by the first ever all-German final.
Runners-up Borussia Dortmund exceeded all expectation after disposing of Spanish giants Real Madrid in the semi-final, but sadly fell to Bayern Munich at the final hurdle due to a late Arjen Robben goal.
The German dominance surprised football fans all over the world, and helped make last year’s competition one of the best in recent years.
Unfortunately however we can’t say the same about this year’s campaign as there is one team that looks head and shoulders above the rest; that is Bayern Munich.
Bayern are considered by many as big favourites to regain their trophy this year, and there really is no surprise as to why this is the case.
Last year they dominated both Juventus and Barcelona in the games leading up to their showdown with Dortmund, scoring a total of 11 goals in their meetings with the two sides.
And although Dortmund did run them close in the final, there was only ever really going to be one outcome.
Once again this year, it would even possibly be regarded as an upset if anyone but Bayern were to win the tournament, because no one else seems good enough.
Up to now Arsenal have looked England’s best hope, and although they are a good side, they are no Bayern Munich.
Manchester City have already been beaten by the Germans, and both Manchester United and Chelsea have dropped points against teams that wouldn’t stand a chance against the current holders.
On top of this, Barcelona, who are probably Bayern’s biggest threat, struggled against a 10-man Celtic team just last week, and Real Madrid have had a hugely disappointing start to their season.
Juventus have so far failed to win either of their first two Champions League games despite a near perfect start to their Serie A campaign, and none of the other Italian teams in the competition look strong enough.
Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain are likely to provide a sizeable threat but would only have a chance if they were to play to their full potential and avoid Bayern until the final itself.
Finally, Borussia Dortmund were beaten by Napoli in their opening fixture and face probably the best Arsenal side for many years in this year’s group-of-death.
Ultimately, Bayern look no worse than they were last year whereas the other European giants do, and therefore you can't really look past them retaining their Champions League crown this season.
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