Munich - FC Bayern München return to UEFA Champions League action for the first time since last season's semi-final defeat to Real Madrid CF when they welcome English Premier League champions Manchester City to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night (kick-off 18:45 GMT/20:45 CEST).

As ever, bundesliga.com has all you need to know ahead of the big game in the Bavarian capital...

In a tough looking Group E, Bayern will have to work hard for qualification. Both AS Roma and CSKA Moskva will provide stern tests, but Manchester City are likely to provide the biggest competition for the coveted top spot. An opening win against the Citizens would be a great start.

Having only recently recovered from a cruciate ligament tear, Holger Badstuber is facing another long period on the sidelines after suffering a groin injury on Saturday against VfB Stuttgart. (knee) will play no part, but Arjen Robben (pictured) could feature and Thiago Alcantara has taken part in training.

City full-back Pablo Zabaleta definitely misses out, as he serves a ban picked up in last season's competition. Bacary Sagna or Aleksandar Kolarov should deputise. Yaya Toure was rested on Saturday against Arsenal FC and will return to the side, as should Samir Nasri who only started that game on the bench.

Last season, Xabi Alonso was a key part of the Real Madrid side that dismantled Bayern at the Allianz. After his summer switch he will be hoping to produce a repeat performance for the Reds as they welcome their biggest Group E rivals to Bavaria.

Yaya Toure was one of the stand-out players in the Premier League last season, with his powerful midfield displays driving City to a second championship in three years. He is yet to fire on all cylinders this term, but having had the weekend off should be raring to go and will provide Bayern with a real test.

Xabi Alonso: "It's a very big game for us. We're playing at home and we want three points. David Silva is a brilliant player - if we can control him, we can control City."

Manuel Pellegrini: "We will try to impose our footballing qualities to overcome Bayern Munich. When we give the ball to Bayern we know it is very difficult to beat them."

Since losing 2-0 to Dortmund in the Supercup, Bayern have won three and drawn one, most recently recording a 2-0 home win against Stuttgart. City have had a stuttering start to their season, following two wins with a loss at home to Stoke and a draw away at Arsenal to leave them fifth in the league

For the third time in four seasons, Bayern and City find themselves in the same group. Last year the German champions produced a scintillating performance at the Etihad to blow away City 3-1, although the English side were able to exact some revenge with a 3-2 win in the reverse fixture.