UEFA Champions League: Top 5 Surprise Packages
The UEFA Champions League rarely throws up any major surprises.
The group stages are typically average, dull and predictable, with the "big teams" making it through to the knockout rounds.
However, this year's competition has showcased a few teams that would otherwise have gone unnoticed to unsuspecting football fans.
Here's a rundown of the top 5 surprise packages in this year's Champions League.
FC BATE Borisov
FC BATE Borisov
BATE are the only Belarussian side to ever participate in the Champions League group stages, having competed once before (2008-09), and they could not have been handed a tougher group this year.
With ties against Barcelona and AC Milan, BATE entered the group with no expectations whatsoever, with a third place finish their only realistic target.
They have given a good account of themselves so far, with draws at home to Milan and away to Plzen, and if they continue their form, they can look forward to a third place finish and Europa League football.
Gary M. Prior/Getty Images
Swiss champions FC Basel have been a staple in European competition in recent years, but have only featured in the Champions League sporadically.
Drawn in a group with Manchester United and Portuguese side Benfica, at the start of the season, a battle for third place in Group C seemed Basel's only reasonable objective for this campaign.
After a spirited 3-3 draw at Old Trafford and a draw in Portugal, four points from their last two games could be enough to see them through to the next round.
Olympique De Marseille
Olympique de Marseille
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2010-11 saw Marseille finish runners up in Ligue 1 behind surprise champions Lille.
The popular belief is that they are a team in decline, a claim that is strengthened when considering their current lowly eighth place in Ligue 1.
They have shown promising signs in this year's Champions League, though, winning comfortably against German champions Dortmund and drawing with Arsenal at the Emirates.
They now stand a good chance of progressing and the Les Phocéens fans will be hoping they can continue their form in their domestic campaign.
Despite not winning the Turkish Super League since 1984, Trabzonspor find themselves in Europe's elite competition due to the match-fixing scandal surrounding Fenerbahce SK.
Having been instated into the group stages at their domestic rival's expense, Trabzonspor have seized their chance and impressed with good performances against Inter and CSKA Moscow.
Sitting third and level on points with Moscow in Group B, if they can replicate their early form against Lille and Inter, the Turks have a good chance of qualifying for the knockout phase.
The Greek minnows have featured only intermittently in Europe of late, but in their second successive campaign, they have punched massively above their weight.
They have dumbfounded critics, though, and find themselves atop Group G with only a complete meltdown standing between them and the knockout rounds.