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Champions League Football Preview

TR Updated

xavi - the pass masterThe Champions League gets underway next week and this year really does look as though it could be one of the best tournaments ever. There are a number of teams that will fancy their chances of going all the way in the competition, especially after Chelsea upset all the odds to lift the trophy back in May.

You only have to look at the teams on show in the group stages to realise what an extremely high stands Europe's elite club competition will be this season. The two sides many will be backing for success are Spanish giants and 'El Clasico' rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Much of this may be down to the fact that Barca have Lionel Messi at their disposal – a man who scored 14 goals in this tournament last season. However, Real have only man on the world who seems to be able to get anywhere near Messi in terms of scoring goals– Cristiano Ronaldo. If these two clubs get to the latter stages, it is likely that both Messi and Ronaldo will have been in good form.

Manchester City and Manchester United then have a massive point to prove in the Champions League as they were both eliminated in the group stages last year. Despite the quality of City's squad, they are still one of the relatively new-boys in this tournament, but can use the experience of last season to help them. As for United, it has been four years since they last lifted the trophy and with the arrival of Robin Van Persie, they could be a team to keep an eye on.

As mentioned though, Chelsea were big underdogs in the last campaign but went on to lift the trophy at the Allianz Arena. This will give a number of teams that are not considered as one of the front-runners a massive amount of confidence.

German and Italian Champions Borussia Dortmund and Juventus will have high hopes of a successful tournament as well as last season's runners-up Bayern Munich and big spending French side Paris Saint Germain.

In truth, any side that manages to make it past the group stages stands a chance as from there it is a knockout tournament and as we have seen countless times in the past – shocks do happen.

It is all set for a cracking competition and the quality is of such a high level that no one can go into any game complacent. Make sure you don't miss a moment.

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