Group E preview: Crystal Palace in disguise, UEFA's new rule and struggling Cole

The Back of the Net team cast an eye over UEFA Champions League Group E...

Bayern Munich

FC Hollywood will look to return to the summit of European football after last season’s humiliating thrashing from Real Madrid - a game that was labelled ‘the death of tiki-taka’ and the ‘birth of spurious, hyperbolic statements’. Bayern may again have the advantage of being untested in their domestic league after clinching the title around this time last year and since signing every player who played well against them.

Did you know? Bayern are sharing a kit with Crystal Palace this season so both clubs can’t play on the same day.

Manchester City

The English champions have received a boost with the news that UEFA has changed its rules so only one player needs to be able to correctly name the club he is playing for. The pressure is on for Manuel Pellegrini to follow last season’s Premier League triumph with the Champions League glory most fans have dreamed of since they started supporting the club around four years ago.

Did you know? There is a second club in Manchester called Manchester United.

CSKA Moscow

CSKA were the Russian Army’s team for many years and completely coincidentally often enjoyed the benefit of the doubt from most referees with other officials completely coincidentally finding their houses razed by tanks.

Did you know? Leonid Slutsky manages CSKA. His brand of promiscuous, erotic football is widely condemned in public but often stealthily enjoyed behind closed doors.


Talisman Francesco Totti, now aged 91, will lead Roma into battle after last year’s absence from European football. The Giallorossi added Ashley Cole to their ranks on a free transfer this summer, but reports suggest Cole is already struggling with the language barrier, leaving team-mates to presume he’s a materialistic simpleton.

Did you know? Roma were the victims of Bruce Grobbelaar’s famous ‘spaghetti legs’ in the 1984 Champions League final penalty shoot-out. In Rome, ‘Grobbelaar Carbonara’ is still mournfully served in restaurants.