2. Bayern Munich
Five-time winners of the competition and Bundesliga holders, Bayern, will take their place as one of the favourites to lift the trophy when they begin their campaign against Olympiacos in September. Yes they’ve lost a great player in Bastian Schweinsteiger but he wasn’t expected to feature as much under Pep Guardiola this season. Additionally, to bolster their already impressive squad, they have added Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, one of the stars of last year’s competition, as well as Brazilian Douglas Costa. The Germans will be relatively optimistic about their chances after the draw handed them a fairly straightforward group. With perhaps the two games against Arsenal (familiar opposition by now!) aside, they will expect to pick up maximum points and qualify from Group F comfortably.
Guardiola’s side will look to put last year’s defeat in the semi-final at the hands of eventual champions, Barcelona, out of their minds and go all the way this year, especially with the head coach in the last year of his contract. But winning it certainly won’t be easy, and it may come down to a battle against one of the two Spanish giants in this year’s competition for the Germans, if they are to go all the way.