The Champions League is as open as it has been for years

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This season's Champions League tournament is set to be a thriller. Of course, there is a long way to go until that final match in Berlin, but this could be the most open tournament we have seen in Europe's elite club competition for years.

So, who are the main contenders for the trophy? Well, Real Madrid have and always will be one of the main contenders, and aim to win the cup every season. Obviously they achieved that target last year when they defeated their bitter rivals Atletico Madrid and finally reached La Decima in Lisbon.

They have certainly started this year's Champions League campaign where they left off last season, with a frighteningly good performance against FC Basel; they put five passed the Swiss club and also shamed Liverpool by recording a 3-0 victory at Anfield.

With the signings Carlo Ancelotti has invested in over the summer, you would think Madrid would be even more formidable this time around. The youth and enthusiasm of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos accompanied with their tremendous talent will be a boost for the reigning champions.

To add to the worry of their competitors, Cristiano Ronaldo looks like he is set to have an outstanding season, both in Europe and in his domestic league. The form he is in at the moment must strike fear into the other contenders for the trophy.

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So, who are these other main contenders? Well, obviously, Bayern Munich are always a huge team in the tournament and they've proven why with their performances so far in the competition.

They've defeated Manchester City and scored seven in a victory over AS Roma already. Rudi Garcia's side are a quality team and they simply demolished them. Bayern's first half performance in that match was nothing short of wondrous.

The only team that look capable of beating Bayern is Real Madrid themselves, and that may well be the fixture in that decisive final on June 6. Nevertheless, we cannot forget about the other competitors for the trophy.

Another Spanish club, Barcelona, look to be in for a fantastic season. They have looked deadly in front of goal in La Liga with Lionel Messi and Neymar firing on all cylinders and, of course, Luis Suarez has recently returned from his ban. Surely its only a matter of time before he starts scoring for fun once again.

Wide open

Not only have they been strong going forward, their defence is hard to penetrate, even though they conceded three in El Clasico, the Catalan club just didn't turn up that game and they cannot afford to have another performance like that. 

Chelsea will go on to have a huge part to play in this year's Champions League as well. They are the one and only English side that can compete with the heavyweights of Europe in my eyes.

The Blues are already top of the Premier League and their performances are as good as any in European football. The signings Jose Mourinho made in the summer have improved the squad dramatically, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa look to be a perfect match, both of them have been instrumental this season for Chelsea.

Chelsea can succeed in this year's Champions League if they focus on it enough, and avoid focusing their attention solely on becoming champions of England. If they get the balance right, they can go on to win both the Premier League and the Champions League.

Of course, any team that is in the tournament has the possibility of winning the trophy, but don't bet against one of those four aforementioned clubs lifting the trophy again in Germany in May 2015.

Bayern Munich
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid

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