Bayern can extend UCL start record
FC Bayern have historically been strong starters in the UEFA Champions League. In fact, the record German champions have won their last 14 opening games in Europe’s premier club competition – a record! The last time they failed to win their first Champions League fixture was in 2002, when they lost 3-2 to Deportivo La Coruña, with Roy Makaay – later a Bayern striker – scoring a hat-trick. fcbayern.com have picked out some other facts and stats ahead of the start of this year’s campaign.
22nd Champions League campaign
The Reds are taking part in the Champions League for the 11th season in a row and the 22nd time in total. That’s by far the highest figure among German clubs. The only teams who have been involved in the competition more often are holders Real Madrid, Barcelona and Porto, who are each entering for the 23rd time. Benfica, meanwhile, are playing in the Champions League for the ninth consecutive season and the 14th time overall.
FCB unbeaten against Benfica
Bayern and Benfica are crossing swords for the fifth time but this is their first meeting in the group stage. FCB have progressed on each of the past four occasions. The last time they did battle was in the quarter-finals in 2016 (Franck Ribéry is pictured tussling with his current teammate Renato Sanches): a 1-0 win in Munich was followed by a 2-2 draw in Lisbon. The record across the eight individual matches is five wins and three draws, with a goal difference of 19:6 in favour of Bayern.
Only one defeat in Portugal
Bayern’s overall record against Portuguese sides is also impressive. Out of 13 matches in the land of the reigning European champions, the Reds have won five, drawn seven and only lost one. They suffered a 3-1 reverse against Porto in the first leg of their 2014/15 quarter-final, before turning the tie around with a magnificent 6-1 victory in the return leg.
Mixed fortunes against German teams
Benfica’s record against German clubs is evenly balanced in comparison. The Portuguese record champions have registered 13 wins, 14 draws and 17 defeats in 44 matches, with a negative goal difference of 48:66. On home soil, ‘the Eagles’ have won 11 of their 21 games against German sides, losing just two and keeping 13 clean sheets.
Spaniard in charge
Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz will be overseeing proceedings in Lisbon on Wednesday evening. The 41-year-old also refereed Bayern’s 3-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain in the group stage last year, as well as their 1-0 win over Viktoria Plzeň in 2013.