Porto in 2003/04, Liverpool in 2004/05 and to a lesser extent Chelsea in 2011/12 all showed that it is possible to emerge from practically nowhere to win the Champions League, even in an era as cash-controlled as this.
So while the likes of Bayern Munich (3/1), Barcelona (17/4), Real Madrid (5/1), Chelsea (8/1) and Man Utd (14/1) are worthy frontrunners, the potential winner list isn’t restricted to those at the head of the market.
Which outsiders are best placed to challenge? Napoli (40/1) conducted eye-catching business in replacing Edinson Cavani with Gonzalo Higuain and adding Pepe Reina, Jose Maria Callejon and Dries Mertens on top.
Chuck in the presence of a Champions League-winning coach in Rafael Benitez, the retention of Marek Hamsik and their impressive start to the Serie A season and there is plenty to get excited about.
However, there are obvious flaws too: a lack of defensive depth and quality, the untested Duvan Zapata being Higuain’s only cover as an attacking focal point and their presence alongside Arsenal, Dortmund and Marseille in Group F, which they are 11/4 to top.
The most complete of the unusual suspects have to be Atletico Madrid, who like Napoli gave up their South American goalscoring phenomenon – Radamel Falcao – but retained the rest of their A-listers.
Thibaut Courtois remains on loan from Chelsea for a third campaign, Diego Costa extended his contract despite Premier League interest and their artist Arda Turan was left to work undisturbed.
Angst over the loss of Falcao loss has been soothed by the signings of David Villa, a million miles from finished at 31, and potential great Leo Baptistao.
Unlike Napoli, there was a final flourish too, with hugely popular Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld and St Etienne’s enemy of spellcheck Josuha Guilavogui sneaking in at last orders for a combined £14.5 million.
Their continental competitiveness has been demonstrated by two Europa League triumphs in the past four years and that helped them obtain a favourable draw, paired with Porto, Zenit and Austria Vienna in Group G.
They are 21/20 to prove the strongest of that quartet and 33/1 to depart Lisbon with the heavy trophy next May.