3. Real Madrid
As always, pundits and fans alike have predicted Real Madrid to go a long way in this year’s Champions League. In fact, this is unsurprising: it is hard to look past a team with the likes of Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo and European specialist Rafa Benitez, who guided Liverpool to victory in 2005, now at the helm. After crashing out in disappointing fashion in last year’s tournament to Italian outfit Juventus, the club that have won the competition a record 10 times will be looking to bounce back and reclaim the trophy lifted in 2014.
They have been handed a potentially tricky group, however, with French giants PSG and a trip to Ukraine to face Shakhtar, as well as the lesser known outfit Malmo of Sweden. These are hurdles Los Blancos will be expected to overcome, and, like Bayern Munich, it is perhaps the latter stages of the tournament when the real test of their Champions League winning credentials will come.