With the new edition of Europe's most coveted club trophy in its infancy, the UEFA Champions League 2017-2018 has given rise to speculations regarding the eventual winner of the tournament. With improving performance from the weaker teams and shock early exits from several teams in last year's edition, the Champions League has given rise to a tough betting scenario. With the odds evenly lined up for more than one teams in the tournament, let's have a look at the 5 teams which are the fan-favourites to win Europe's biggest prize.
1. Real Madrid C.F.Despite a lack-lustre domestic form and losing several influential players in the Summer. The injury-plagued Los Blancos are a completely different outfit on the European stage. The first team to successfully defend the European throne in the modern edition of the tournament, the Spanish giants are the most successful club in the competition with 12 titles under their belt, miles clear of the nearest competitor. Real Madrid would surely be on top of the lists of several fanatics to retain their European crown despite domestic struggles. The Blancos have started their European defence on a high in a tough group where likes of Dortmund and Spurs are with the Spanish Giants. Real Madrid's extensive squad depth will be a crucial factor in determining the winner of the prestigious competition.
2. Manchester CityThe Pep Guardiola team has been an improved drastically outfit after an average first season under the Spaniard. Spending big money in the transfer window, the reinforced Manchester City squad is one of the only two English clubs to be unbeaten in the league alongside local rivals United. Conceding just two goals on the bounce, City is on the top of England with a marginally superior goal difference than United. Pep Guardiola, who is acclaimed amongst the community for his innovative positional play is believed to play Kevin de Bruyne at a 'free 08' role. The Catalan manager has been known for his managerial innovations during his tenure with FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich and would be keen to make amends to a poor first season by making it big in the Champions League.
3. FC BarcelonaKnocked out in the quarter-finals of last year's instalment by Juventus, got their revenge early in this tournament by outclassing Juventus on opening day. Unbeaten in all competitions, upon early impressions, the Azulgranas are arguably looking as a better outfit under Ernesto Valverde. With an in-form Lionel Messi back at his famous 'False 09' position, Barcelona look deadly on the run, making them strong contenders to lift the famed crown in Kiev.
4. Paris Saint-GermainEliminated from last year's competition by a miraculous Barcelona comeback, the Parisian club has set out on a trail to glory ever since. With the directors openly announcing a bid to lead the team to Champions League glory, the Arab-backed team left no stone unturned early in the season by reinforcing their already star-studded squad with herculean signings of Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe, and Daniel Alves. Defeating Bayern Munich on the run, PSG would be a huge contender to play in the final in Kiev and possibly even lift their first ever Champions League trophy.
5. Bayern MunichDespite having managerial issues following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti, the Germans have had a rough start to the season. Five points behind rivals Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and second in their Champions’ League group, Bayern were thought to be out of the race to the title early this season but provided their squad strength, the Germans could never be slashed off the list of the favourites.