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After a long four month hiatus, the UEFA Champions League is set to officially begin.  This year's qualification system did change a bit, but the format from here on out is still the same. 32 sides -- 8 groups of 4 teams each -- representing a total of 18 nations will partake in the most prestigious of club competitions this year.  16 of these clubs will move onto the knockout stages.  These knock-out stages are pretty much do-or-die.  Each team will play one leg at home and the other on the road.  The team with the most goals scored advances.  In the event of a tie, the team with the most away goals will win via the away goals rule.  If still tied, then extra time will be played right then and there.  If no one scores, then the match will go to penalties.  This format will also be used in the quarterfinals and semifinals.  This year's final will be hosted at the Santiago Bernabeu, the home of Real Madrid.  The final is a one-off tie and if tied at 90, then the match will go to a 30-minute overtime period.  If still tied, it will progress to the dreaded penalties.  Ok, now let's get to the fun stuff.  Let's look at the teams (nation of origin and last year's domestic league finish in parentheses).   Click here to continue reading.  Please leave comments hear or send me an e-mail!   

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