Barcelona Champions League favourites ahead of opening round

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As if the beginning of the new season wasn't exciting enough, Europe's greatest competition will be returning to our screens in two weeks' time.

The UEFA Champions League is the ultimate prize for every one of Europe's giants - win it, and you're the undisputed champions of Europe; the best of the best.

However, such is the quality of teams in Europe that predicting the winner before the competition has even begun is nye on impossible, though it's always of interest to weight up the big boys' chances of lifting the coveted trophy.


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Last year's champions have to fancy themselves as favorites. If ever a team looked capable of repeating it, it's this Barcelona side.

They possess three of the best footballers in the world who can turn any defence inside out, in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, and although Barca's squad looks thin right now they should have no problems in the groups.

Add to that the fact that by the time the knockout rounds are upon us new arrivals Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal will be able to join the squad, Barcelona have a great chance to retain their European crown.

Bayern Munich

Arguably the closest any team comes to Barcelona in terms of quality, Bayern have been buoyed by a host of additions this summer with the likes of last year's finalist Arturo Vidal and Brazilian winger Douglas Costa particularly bolstering their squad.

For Pep Guardiola, this could be the defining year in his Bayern career and he will have his eyes set firmly on this trophy. With the depth in this squad they should have no problem making a deep run.

Real Madrid

Under new coach Rafael Benitez no one knows what to expect from Real Madrid.

The team itself is full of world-class players and they certainly play open, expansive football, but it is still too early to tell how they will look under Benitez.

That being said, a team with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and the inform James Rodriguez, who scored a stunning brace over the weekend, can hardly be overlooked.

Paris Saint-Germain

Unfortunately for PSG, it doesn't look likely that they will walk away as champions, but they still have more than enough quality to make a sustained challenge.

Angel Di Maria's arrival brings Champions League experience to an already impressive front line, boasting the likes of Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who, if on form, can terrorise any of Europe's strongest defences.

However, questions remain over the Ligue 1 champions' consistency and defensive qualities. PSG may have the necessary quality, but they still have to bide their time.

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Paris Saint-Germain
Real Madrid
Bayern Munich

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