Top 5 teams most likely to win this year’s Champions League

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Thirty-two teams have begun battling it out in this year’s rendition of UEFA’s Champions League. After Chelsea won last year by beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final, many clubs will be looking to bring home the most prestigious trophy in club football. 

Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain fans will be hoping their team can finally bring the trophy home for the first time. After a very successful transfer window for many of the top teams this year, they will be hoping that their new signings will be able to deliver big performances to help their team win the trophy. From Lionel Messi joining PSG to Cristiano Ronaldo joining Manchester United, there will be several matchups between players that fans have not seen in a long time.

Chelsea: Most teams have never won the Champions League back to back, but Chelsea will definitely be looking to do it again this year. With players such as Timo Werner and Kai Havertz finishing their first season with the blues and finally being settled in, we should be seeing more fluidity and better connection between the players which could threaten other teams this year. 

Chelsea was not playing around this transfer window either, buying Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan for 98 million Euros (about 113.6 million US Dollars) to bolster their striker position after cashing in on Tammy Abraham to Roma. With N’Golo Kante and Jorginho re-enforcing the midfield, Chelsea surely has a shot to win the trophy two years in a row.

Paris Saint Germain (PSG): With possibly the best transfer window in the history of football, PSG has found itself in the best possible position this year to win the Champions League. For starters, they have acquired the services of former Barcelona captain Messi, arguably the best player in history. They also got Sergio Ramos, considered one of the best center backs of all time. 

If that was not enough, PSG also added Gianluigi Donnarumma, currently one of the best goalkeepers in the world, having won the Euros with Italy. Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes were strong additions to the team’s fullback positions, which needed strengthening. To top it all off, Georginio Wijnaldum, Champions League and Premier League winner with Liverpool, also joined the Parisians, adding even more depth to an already strong midfield.

With all of these additions to the team and a fully fit duo of Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. and Kylian Mbappe, PSG appears to be ready to absolutely steamroll every team that they come up against in the Champions League. “They did some incredible business during the off-season, and I think that will reflect on the pitch, and we’ll be seeing them finally take the trophy home for the first time,” says Olympic Heights senior Rafael Ferreira.

Manchester City: After reaching the final last year and narrowly losing to Chelsea, Manchester City has improved their team by breaking the British record fee and splashing 100 million Euros on former Aston Villa starboy Jack Grealish to bolster their attack. Even with faile signing attempts of Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo over the summer, City is a stronger side who have now experienced what it is like to be in a final of such magnitude which will surely motivate the players to improve their game even more and finally be able to pull out a win.

Bayern Munich:  After winning the Champions League final two years ago, many thought it would be the beginning of a dominance period for Bayern, but the opposite occurred. Coming up against PSG in the knockout stages of last year’s tournament, Bayern Munich found themselves without Robert Lewandowski, their star player.

Without Lewandowski, Bayern struggled to put the ball in the back of the net and were eventually knocked out. After losing star center-back David Alaba to Real Madrid, Bayern acquired Dayot Upamecano to patch that hole. The team also acquired Marcel Sabitzer to add some needed depth to the midfield. They were also able to obtain up-and-coming manager Julian Nagelsmann, who adds some life into the team for being such a young manager.

Liverpool: A quiet transfer window from the six-time Champions League winners puts them at fifth on the list. With Ibrahima Konate being their only acquisition and their losing Georginio Wijnaldum to PSG, they have added to a position that they do not need to improve and have lost a player in a position at which they need depth. Regardless, they are still a fierce team that is hard to defeat. 

Star players such as Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk, and Alisson Becker can single-handedly win any game. After a rocky season last year due to major injuries, Liverpool will be hoping to come back with a bang and show why they are one of the strongest teams in Europe.

Honorable Mention – Manchester United:  A great transfer window from Manchester United makes them a much stronger team than last year. However, in the last couple of years, they have simply inherited the DNA of losing. Getting one of the best players in history, Cristiano Ronaldo, World Cup winner Raphael Varane, and one of the best youngsters in the world in Jadon Sancho, they have definitely improved on paper but have already lost their opening Champions League match and have found themselves struggling to beat other teams. 

There is always a chance for Man U. to string together a winning run and build momentum to carry through the rest of the season and possibly winning the Champions League if they get lucky. 

“Even though they have gotten all these strong and impressive players, they still look like the same old Man United, and if I was a United fan, I would be hoping things turned around pretty soon,” OH senior Dylan Lima said.

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