Barcelona's sheer ruthlessness in last season's UEFA Champions League campaign blew the minds of every football fan across the globe, and with the 2015/16 competition just days away, the bookies are tipping the Catalan club as favourites to achieve back-to-back titles.
However, this year brings more competition. Bayern Munich will come back better than before, now with the dangerous Douglas Costa at their service, whilst La Liga rivals Atletico and Real Madrid are expected to be amongst the front runners in the final furlong.
There are, of course, new teams thrown into the equation who could cause upsets as seen in previous years. Take Monaco's thrilling run last season, for example, which saw them knock out Arsenal with ease. And who called Juventus claiming a runners up medal?
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With each Champions League campaign comes unpredictability, with this season looking to be no different, but just how far can Europe's big hitters go towards claiming the ultimate prize?
Barcelona v Bayern final?
The likeliest of finals and most frequently predicted in the Champions League build-up is that of a clash of the titans between Barcelona and Bayern Munich, two sides who know plenty about European finals.
So, if this highly anticipated fixture does crop up in the final, or at any other stage in the tournament, who would come out as victors? At first thought, most would suggest Barcelona, but after seeing Bayern's barnstorming start to the new Bundesliga campaign, there is no reason why Pep Guardiola can't topple his former club.
But it would prove to be the utmost challenge for the German giants. How do you overcome a side with Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi spearheading the attack? It's Bayern's job to find the answer to that question.
For Real Madrid to fall short of the semi-finals would come as a great surprise. They managed to keep hold of Karim Benzema this summer which is great for Carlo Ancelotti - the Frenchman has proven a key asset for Madrid in recent seasons.
His lethal partnership with James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo is already causing havoc in La Liga, epitomised by their 6-0 destruction of Espanyol this weekend, with Shakhtar Donetsk, Paris Saint-Germain and Malmo next in line at the Santiago Bernabeu slaughterhouse.
The Blues are struggling in the Premier League which could ultimately hinder their form on the European stage. John Terry's decline in form and Thibaut Courtois' proposed three-month absence will deal a deadly blow to the start of Chelsea's group stage.
However, Pedro's experienced credentials with Barcelona should give Jose Mourinho's side a boost, but it remains to be seen whether it'll be enough to launch a bid for the title.
As one towering forward leaves Atletico Madrid, in comes another. Jackson Martinez was one of the summer additions to Diego Simeone's solid squad, replacing Mario Mandzukic.
Building upon a side containing Koke and Antoine Griezmann, it's hard to see Atletico crashing and burning at an early stage. Maybe the final is a step too far, but then again, nothing stopped them reaching the last two in 2013/14.
Ligue 1 often produces feisty teams who like to challenge even the biggest of opponents. As mentioned earlier, Monaco sent Arsenal plummeting out last season and Paris Saint-Germain said au revoir to Chelsea.
Lyon are one of this year's French representatives and they stand a decent chance of going a long way in the Champions League. Spearheaded by the likes of Gunners summer target Alexandre Lacazette, who loves to score goals, and Mathieu Valbuena, who set the World Cup alight in 2014, last year's Ligue 1 runners up will certainly leave a lot of teams that stand in their way wondering what has hit them.
Also, keep your eye firmly on Sevilla, a side who, if they can get out of their group, could run riot in the latter stages. Last season, they held an impressive home record which saw them lose just once at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
They do, however, have an extremely tricky group. Last year's runners-up, Juventus, and Manchester City both accommodate Group D, as well as have-a-go heroes Borussia Monchengladbach of the Bundesliga. Finding a way out of that group will be easier said than done.
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