Manchester City, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund will be the rivals of Mourinho's team since 18 September. English and Germans were the most feared in their respective drums and both have gone down together in the Real Madrid group. Ajax joined them, a usual competitor in recent times in the Champions League for the white team, although hardly problematic, given the difference between the two squads.
Manchester City: Second chance in the Champions League for Mancini's team. After a disappointing debut (did not pass the group stage), the City comes with two new faces: Maicon (Inter) and Jack Rodwell (Everton)
- Best: Its tremendous offensive potential. Toure's phisycal condition, Silva's imagination, Dzeko's instinct, Aguero's quality, the unpredictable Balotelli, Tevez's strenght ... multitude of resources and an infinite multitude of alternatives for different match situations. A threat.
- Worst: Lack of personality in big games. Mainly marked by the personality of the coach. Roberto Mancini tends to take a step back in matches with strong rivals. He is often accused of lacking ambition and overly defensive approach when has the potential to set the pace of the match.
Ajax: Team further weakened after the departure of players like Anita, Lodeiro and Vertonghen (Tottenham). Few problems will create the team of Frank de Boer, which has barely been reinforced by the arrival of Moisander and the veteran Christian Poulsen.
- Best: Its youth and daring. Alderweireld, Van der Wiel or the young Dijks are starting line-up players and have good quality to play the ball. In midfield Eriksen puts the imagination and Sigthórsson handles the scoring task.
- Worst: No highlighted players. Its most notable player is the Danish Eriksen and showed in the last Euro Cup he is not a decisive player in top level meetings. It is a team that is committed to the youth teams and requires a full reconstruction and time to can compete with the top teams of Europe.
Borussia Dortmund: A team growing. Dortmund wants to take another step in its return to the European front line. Last year left a good feeling and has improved with virtually the same squad of a year ago. A signing, Reus, and a leaving, Shinji Kagawa (Man. United) its best player in the midfield.
- Best: A team made and cleared. The couple of central defenders Hummels-Subotic is superb. Gündogan must step forward in the ball control after the departure of Kagawa. The speed of Götze or Reus, and the incisor Polish trident; Großkreutz-Blaszczykowski-Lewandowski.
- Worst: The game creation. Since the departure of Sahin two seasons ago the German team that has failed to play properly at the midfield. Gündogan did not meet expectations last season and now without Kagawa, the problems could increase.