The Champions League 2015/16 campaign is well under way at the moment; Rosie Twells proposes five teams to keep an eye on in the competition this year.
Key Stat: Los Blancos have won the European Cup a record ten times which means they were granted permission by UEFA to wear a multiple-winner badge.
Key Man: Cristiano Ronaldo and it really couldn’t be anyone else. Attacking flair, pace, skill, strength, ability to score goals, you name it and Ronaldo has it. His two goals against Malmo helped Real maintain their 100% start in the Champions League and have got the team off to a flying start.
Chances of progressing past the group stage: Extremely likely. Their toughest match will come against Paris St. Germain away on 21st October, but they should not have any problems moving on to the next round.
Key Stat: In their first season of the Champions League, City did beat eventual finalists, FC Bayern München in the group stages.
Key Man: Sergio Agüero. It is important that City keep the Argentine forward fit, especially with a hectic Premier League schedule and a Manchester derby at the end of October. He always shows determination to win the ball for his team and earned a last-minute penalty against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Chances of progressing past the group stage: Likely, but it will be close. Away games to Seville and Juventus will test Manuel Pellegrini’s side to see if they can balance European and domestic games.
Key Stat: Borisov Automobile and Tractor Electronics are the only Belarusian team to have qualified for the Champion’s League for five seasons.
Key Man: Filip Mladenović put in an impressive performance as an attacking full-back against Roma, scoring and providing assists for his team. It is imperative that this great form continues and Mladenović needs to perform his defensive duties well so that they can count on their goal difference if required.
Chances of progressing past the group stage: Again, likely based on current form, but it will be close. Tough opposition will come against European giants Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen.
Key Stat: The last time Chelsea won the Champions League in 2011/12, they were the fourth highest scoring team in the whole competition, coming behind Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Key Man: José Mourinho, or ‘The Special One’, will have to call upon his tactical brain and specialist management techniques if Chelsea are to progress. They have had a mixed start to the campaign and only gained three points from their opening two matches.
Chances of progressing past the group stage: Likely. Once Chelsea find form and start producing positive results from their performances, they will be able to kick on in their Europe campaign.
Key Stat: Bayern are one of five teams to maintain a 100% winning start to their 2015/16 Champions League campaign.
Key Man: Robert Lewandowski has had an excellent week. He scored five goals in nine minutes against Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and carried on this fine form by grabbing a hat-trick against Dynamo Zagreb in their latest group stage game.
Chances of progressing past the group stage: Extremely likely. Group F is not the most testing collection of teams and the 2012/13 champions will be looking to replicate their success again.