1 What favourite?
Keeping track of the rankings of the four major championships is (already) enough to find out the main contenders. Last year’s final rivals Manchester City and Inter Milan were as successful as Real Madrid in Spain. Bayern lost two points against Leverkusen (2-2), but is already in front.
The English will be favorites to make the final at Wembley this year. After waiting 15 years since passing under the Emirati flag (including 7 under the leadership of Pep Guardiola), they marched into the final edition (undefeated, beating Bayern 3-0 and Real 4-0). He kept all his powerful men except Gundogan. The two other key starters (Mahrez and Laporte) have given way to emerging players (Doku and Guardiol). You will have to be strong to uproot them.
His predecessor, Real Madrid, heads the list for employment. Benzema was not replaced this term, but the formula chosen by Carlo Ancelotti – the key Bellingham recruit behind the Vinicius/Rodrigo duo – is working so far.
A center forward, Bayern recruited one a year after Lewandowski’s departure, losing momentum. His name is Harry Kane and he will be a charm. Inter Milan have come up with an attacking duo of Lautaro Martínez – Marcus Thuram that is creating a spark in Serie A.
2 What potential surprises?
Milan’s two clubs showed last season that there are still opportunities left. After two expulsions in the group, there are arguments at FC Barcelona, where the Xavi mark is now printed and with Gundogan as the expected boss. Catalan Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal will have to take advantage of a priority group in their hands to do so, like Atletico Madrid for Diego Simeone’s potentially last season on the bench.