‘Bayern can lift trophy, Leicester will go further than Arsenal’ – We rank Champions League teams

Can Bayern Munich reclaim the Champions League? Will Leicester City go further than Arsenal? We’ve teamed up with our European network to gain insight into each nation’s leading contenders, with each office also voting for their top 10. The overall results are revealed at the bottom…

GERMANY

1. Bayern Munich

After reaching at least the semi-finals for five consecutive times (two finals, one trophy) the team is ready for another win.

With Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels (plus Philipp Lahm and David Alaba) they have the best defence in the world, a midfield stacked with talent (possessing Xabi Alonso as the experienced leader), a superb collection of wide players (Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Kingsley Coman, Renato Sanches), a goal getter all of the big teams is keen on (Robert Lewandowski) and Carlo Ancelotti as coach – a man who knows how to win the Champions League like almost no other. Simply put: Bayern are the team to beat this season.

2. Real Madrid
3. Barcelona
4. Manchester City
5. Juventus
6. Atletico Madrid
7. Arsenal
8. Paris Saint-Germain
9. Sevilla
10. Borussia Dortmund

Perhaps the lucky bag of this Champions League campaign. Dortmund lost important players like Hummels, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ilkay Gundogan but gained a bunch of interesting talents (Ousmane Dembele, Raphael Guerreiro, Emre Mor) along with Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle. So if Thomas Tuchel can form a functioning team from his pool of talented players, Dortmund could return to where they were before Jurgen Klopp’s disastrous last season with the club.

UNITED KINGDOM

1. Bayern Munich
2. Barcelona
3. Real Madrid
4. Manchester City

Group stage flops under Roberto Mancini, semi-finals last season under Manuel Pellegrini and now, finally, serious contenders to win the competition for the first time after appointing the best coach on the planet. Pep Guardiola’s impact has been quickly felt at City, who are a team reborn, and a man who has never not reached the final four in the European Cup has the players to win his third trophy. Guardiola couldn’t quite make the final leap with Bayern, but he has assembled a very talented squad who despite lacking a genuine superstar will challenge any team this season thanks to their sophisitication.

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5. Paris Saint-Germain
6. Atletico Madrid
7. Juventus
8. Borussia Dortmund
9. Leicester City

If there’s one thing we learned last season, it’s that you should never write off Leicester. The loss of N’Golo Kante was a big setback but keeping Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy was huge for Claudio Ranieri this summer and they have bought well too, especially in attack with the exciting signings of Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani. Leicester will pose problems to most teams with their threat on the counter – especially if European sides commit the same mistake as English ones last season and assume they aren’t actually any good.

10. Arsenal

You might be surprised to see Arsenal below Leicester in our list – but Arsene Wenger has had almost 20 goes at winning the Champions League and has failed every time. They’ve been knocked out of the last-16 for the past six years – losing at the first opportunity against decent opposition, and Monaco – so there’s no way you can really back them to win it. It’s more likely Leicester will do another extraordinary season. They are one of the top 10 teams though…

SPAIN

1. Barcelona

Despite their wealth of talent, the team has got better this summer. They have added very interesting players to create a better squad. Samuel Umtiti, Andre Gomes and Paco Alcacer will increase their level.

2. Real Madrid

The biggest challenge for Real Madrid: becoming the first team to win two Champions League crowns in a row. They have not made particularly strong transfers (Alvaro Morata is the most important new player), but to be honest they didn’t need to after displaying a high level in the last few seasons. They have been made the semi-finals minimum for seven years and this competitiveness is as important as a star player.

3. Bayern Munich
4. Manchester City
5. Paris Saint-Germain
6. Juventus
7. Atletico Madrid

A big change from last season. Kevin Gameiro is the new striker but, for the first time in the last years, they kept their best players. Could it be enough? Nobody knows, but they will fight as in the past. Atletico is not the best team, but they are the most difficult to be defeated.

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8. Borussia Dortmund
9. Arsenal
10. Leicester City

ITALY

1. Bayern Munich
2. Barcelona
3. Juventus

With Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic, Dani Alves and Mehdi Benatia, Juventus have reached a top-class level: unbeatable in Italy, competitive in Europe. Now their primary goal is to win the Champions League after a final in 2014-2015 and an unlucky campaign last year. Juventus are worth semi-final at least.

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4. Manchester City
5. Real Madrid
6. Atletico Madrid
7. Arsenal
8. Borussia Dortmund
9. Napoli

It can be a big surprise of Champions League 2016/2017. Napoli lost Higuain this summer but invested big money in a clever way, to build a very deep squad. More than players, by the way, Napoli has a style of play “total-football oriented” which can surprise other teams. And if Milik (or Gabbiadini) will begin to score regularly, Napoli can dream even bigger.

10. Paris Saint-Germain

FRANCE

1. Barcelona
2. Real Madrid
3. Bayern Munich
4. Atletico Madrid
5. Juventus
6. Manchester City
7. Paris Saint-Germain
8. Borussia Dortmund
9. Arsenal
10. Sevilla

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RUSSIA

1. Barcelona
2. Real Madrid
3. Bayern Munich
4. Atletico
5. Manchester City
6. Paris Saint-Germain
7. Juventus
8. Borussia Dortmund
9. Tottenham
10. Arsenal

POLAND

1. Barcelona
2. Real Madrid
3. Bayern Munich
4. Atletico Madrid
5. Manchester City
6. Juventus
7. Paris Saint-Germain
8. Borussia Dortmund
9. Arsenal
10. Tottenham

OVERALL SCORES

[Ten points awarded for first, nine for second, eight for third, and so on…]

1. Barcelona (66 points)

2. Bayern Munich (62)

3. Real Madrid (59)

4. Manchester City (45)

5. Atletico Madrid (40)

6. Juventus (38)

7. Paris Saint-Germain (29)

8. Borussia Dortmund (19)

9. Arsenal (16)

10. Leicester City (3)

10. Tottenham (3)

10. Sevilla (3)

13. Napoli (2)

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