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5 of the top contenders for the UEFA Champions League

Pranav Prasad
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
15.65K   //    24 Nov 2017, 20:58 IST

Real Madrid v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final
Real Madrid celebrating the UEFA Champions League victory

Real Madrid won the 2016/2017 UCL title.

Los Merengues destroyed Juventus 4-1, becoming the first team ever to successfully defend the title since the current league format was created in 1992.

two months later, Madrid humiliated Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate to win the Spanish Super Cup, announcing themselves as the clear favorites for the Champions League once again.

Fast forward to November and things are looking different.

Real Madrid is struggling, sitting in third position in La Liga, ten points adrift of leaders Barcelona. On the European scene, it is not a pretty picture as well. Tottenham Hotspur put the defending champions to the sword at Wembley, and Madrid will end the group stage in second place.

This dip in form has seen other teams taking over the favorites tag.


#5 Bayern Munich

Bayern Munichs form has been resuscitated after a poor start
Bayern Munich's form has been resuscitated after a poor start

Bundesliga:

Played - 12 | Won - 9 | Draw - 2 | Lost - 1 | Goals For - 30 | Goals Against - 8

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Champions League 2017/18:

Played - 5 | Won - 4 | Draw - 0 | Lost - 1 | Goals For - 8 | Goals Against - 4

Bayern Munich has always been among the favorites to win the Champions League in the last decade, and this year is no different.

A poor start to the season with a loss to Hoffenheim in the league and a demolition by PSG at the Parc des Princes indicated the end of an era for Bayern, leading to the departure of Carlo Ancelotti.

Treble-winning manager Jupp Heynckes was recalled to drag Bayern back into contention, and that is exactly what he has done.

Since reinstating Heynckes, Bayern has won all of their games (including a penalty shootout win in the DFB Pokal against RB Leipzig) and the team looks like a force to reckon with once again.

The humiliating defeat at the hands of PSG was a wake-up call, and the players have responded extremely well after that night.

Robert Lewandowski has found his shooting boots once again, as he has raced to the top of the league charts with 13 goals in 12 games.

In the Champions League, scoring has been a little more difficult with the team only scoring 8 goals from 5 games (a far cry from PSG's 24 goals in the same number of games).

A true test of their character awaits when they take on Paris Saint Germain once again at the Allianz Arena in Gameweek 6, posing the first real challenge of Jupp Heynckes' second reign as manager.

Bayern may very well end the group stage in second place unless they conjure up a massive win against the high-flying Parisiens.

A team that has been perennial contenders, Bayern can be expected to do well in the tournament once again but it does not look like they will have it easy.


Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Final
Jupp Heynckes will be looking to conjure up another UCL triumph

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Pranav Prasad
CONTRIBUTOR
FC Barcelona, India, Federer and RCB!
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