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John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Harry Kane can inspire Spurs in Champions League Group E

Now that the Champions League draw has been completed, here's a preview for Group E. Who do you think will go through?

Predicted finish

1. Tottenham
2. Bayer Leverkusen
3. Monaco
4. CSKA Moscow


Back in the competition after a break of five seasons, and automatic qualifiers having finished third in last season's Premier League, Mauricio Pochettino's young team has the potential to cause a few ripples among the continent's established forces.

Striker Harry Kane is the leading man, and will attempt to put his own and England's troubles at Euro 2016 behind him. Spurs, on their day, can swarm all over their opponents, a little like Borussia Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp and also like Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid. However, a small squad may find itself stretched by trying to meet the tough discipline of playing midweek in the Champions League and then at weekends in the Premier League.

Bayer Leverkusen

The "best of the rest" in the Bundesliga behind the big two of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen have been one of the most consistent sides in Germany in recent years. The last time they finished lower than fifth was 2009, but despite being regular qualifiers from the Champions League group stage, they haven't gone beyond the round of 16 since reaching the final against Real Madrid in 2002. Javier Hernandez missed the start of the season after breaking his hand falling down some stairs, so hopefully their luck will improve

Tottenham's Harry Kane is their key man as they look to emerge from Group E.


Beyond all-conquering Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco look the second-best team in France and once again feature Colombian striker Radamel Falcao in their lineup, after two seasons of anonymous misadventure with Manchester United and Chelsea. Coach Leonardo Jardim is a canny campaigner, and the Stade Louis II Stadium is a tricky away trip for any opposition.

CSKA Moscow

Leonid Slutsky has won the Russian title in three out of the past four seasons but struggled in charge of Russia at Euro 2016, failing to get out of the group stage. Slutsky's side haven't managed to reach the knockout round in the past three Champions League campaigns and will have to do without last season's top scorer Ahmed Musa, sold to Leicester, although Alan Dzagoev and Aleksandr Golovin will be key in midfield.

Game of the group

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Tottenham -- This is not a group granted much in the way of glamour ties, though it looks as if it could be quite even between all four teams. However, a battle of the third-best teams from the Bundesliga and the Premier League last season, with highly regarded coaches in Roger Schmidt and Pochettino taking each other on, may serve as an indicator of the respective strength of each country's league.

X factor

Wembley -- Spurs will be playing their home matches at Wembley this season, as White Hart Lane is being renovated, and the change in atmosphere that brings could be a factor. Five years ago, while Gareth Bale tormented Inter Milan, the Lane rocked. When neighbours and rivals Arsenal tried to use Wembley in the late 1990s in this competition, they twice failed to get past the knockout rounds.

John Brewin is a staff writer for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JohnBrewinESPN.


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