Can Barcelona win the Champions League again?

They outclassed Manchester United in last season's final, and are hot favourites to win the Champions League again in 2012. Is any team capable of ending the domination of Pep Guardiola's formidable Barcelona team?

As if they were not strong enough in midfield already, Barcelona have strengthened their squad with the addition of Cesc Fabregas, who finally sealed his return to Catalonia with the long-awaited transfer from Arsenal.

The group stage of the competition (www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague) begins on September 13 and 14, by which time we will have a better idea of the kind of shape the challengers are in this season.

Last year's runners-up, Manchester United, have made a promising start to the English season, despite not having signed any major European names. Their new players, notably Ashley Young, do look to have settled into the United squad quickly, and the manager Sir Alex Ferguson has made challenging Barcelona more closely a priority for this season.

Chelsea might have a tougher time of it, with seasoned stars like John Terry, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard beginning to approach the age where retirement looms closer, and their big signing of last season, Fernando Torres, has yet to convince he can recapture his best form.

The form of Barcelona's rivals Real Madrid has been overshadowed by the antics of the manager Jose Mourinho at the start of the season, and the suspicion is that Mourinho might have run out of ideas at the Bernabeu, despite the wealth of talent at the club.

The most concerted challenge to Barcelona may come from the Italian clubs, the champions AC Milan and their neighbours Internazionale. AC Milan have won the competition 7 times (a total only exceeded by Real Madrid) and with players like Pato, Robinho and Cassano, they present a potent attacking threat to go with their customary sound defence. Inter

For an outsider, why not consider the fabulously wealthy Manchester City? With forward options that include Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko, Silva and Balotelli, it's apparent that they could be a threat to anyone. Roberto Mancini's team will hope to make a stir in their first Champions League adventure.

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