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As the tournament kicks off, CBS Sports have created a power ranking list. Using TierMaker to show each side's potential, it's clear Bayern Munich stand alone as favourites, Liverpool and Manchester City are big threats, while Manchester United are written off as 'Long Shots'.
Bayern's terrific all-round squad definitely gives them a great chance at defending their European crown. Liverpool are third in the power ranking, but CBS warn: "They have all of the talent in the world but need to solidify an inconsistent defence."
Virgil van Dijk's absence makes that infinitely harder, of course, while Man City also have defensive concerns. PSG and Real Madrid join that pair as top contenders, but the Spanish champions urgently need Eden Hazard to find his form.
Barcelona - usually among the favourites - are damningly cast as not "top-tier contenders" according to CBS. No surprise after their summer of turmoil, they join Chelsea in the third tier of teams who 'Might Compete'.
Juventus are in this group too, with CBS warning that: "Cristiano Ronaldo isn't getting any younger, and the defence at times looks average."
At least that's a step above Manchester United. The Premier League giants, almost always Champions League contenders during Sir Alex Ferguson's reign are outside the top-10 sides this season. CBS warns that "a Sunday league-level defence" is likely to be their undoing. Ouch.
Some might be surprised to see Inter Milan joining United as 'Long Shots'. But Antonio Conte does not have a strong record in this competition and the midfield is a concern. At least they are a tier above fellow Serie A side Lazio, whose defensive woes point to a troubling season in Europe.
A tier below that come the teams whose best hope is simply to get out of the group (and Shakhtar Donetsk are tipped to fail even in that goal).
Bottom of the pile, however, is Ferencvaros. The Hungarian side are back in the Champions League for the first time since the 1990s after knocking out Celtic in qualifying, but Group G sees them up against Juventus and Barcelona. So they need a miracle.
Likely Winner: Bayern Munich
Strong Chance: PSG, Liverpool, Man City, Real Madrid
Might Compete: Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea
Long Shot: RB Leipzig, Man United, Inter Milan, Atalanta, Sevilla, Ajax
No Chance: Porto, Lazio, Marseille, Borussia Monchengladbach, Zenit, Lokomotiv Moscow, Rennes, Istanbul Basaksehir
Won't Qualify From Group: Shakhtar Donetsk, RB Salzburg, Dynamo Kyiv, Olympiacos, Club Brugge, Krasnodar, Midtjylland
Need A Miracle: Ferencvaros
All imagery: PA Images/TierMaker
Topics: Manchester City, Liverpool, Football News, UEFA Champions League, Lazio, Chelsea, Football, Manchester United, Barcelona, Lists, Juventus, Champions League, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Inter Milan
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