Group A preview: Simeone the strangler, March of the Penguins and Nietzsche

The Back of the Net team give their take on UEFA Champions League Group A...

Atletico Madrid

The Spaniards have kept hold of most of the players who took them to the final last May, after Diego Simeone threatened to kill any deserters with his bare hands. A repeat performance will depend heavily on whether time is linear, as in the Judeo-Christian tradition, or cyclical, a concept popularised in the West by Friedrich Nietzsche.

Did you know? Human rights groups have expressed concern over Atletico's sponsorship by the "Land of Fire", Mordor.


The Serie A giants are named after the Latin word for 'youth', so are therefore nicknamed 'The Old Lady'. Despite dominating Serie A in recent years, they have underachieved in Europe, owing to the relative weakness of the euro. The team has been criticised for a lack of pace, but as Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, all great thoughts are conceived while walking.

Did you know? The club adopted its famous black and white colours in 2005, in tribute to acclaimed documentary, March of the Penguins.


The Swedish champions qualified for the group stages through a play-off, beating Red Bull 3-0 at home after losing the first leg 2-1 in New York. Widely considered whipping boys, it will be down to experienced manager Age Hareide to remember the safe word. Their fans will be hoping Malmo can reach the knockout rounds for the first time since 1991, but as Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of man.

Did you know? Malmo is linked with the capital of Norway, Oslo, by a bridge that is 349 miles long.


The Greeks return to the Champions League after the humiliation of last season, when they became the only team to lose to David Moyes' Manchester United. Their success is based on combining an Apollonian defensive spine with an unpredictable Dionysian attack, as recommended in the early tactical writings of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Did you know? Olympiakos have a long and bitter rivalry with fellow Athens side, Olympiacos. According to Google, the two clubs share a stadium, a badge, and a manager, and have won an equal number of Greek league titles.