Sun, 29/09/19, 20:43
Bayern's group stage opponents Tottenham Hotspur
Following the 3-0 opening win in the Champions League group phase against Red Star Belgrade at home, FC Bayern face Tottenham Hotspur in the first crunch match of this year's campaign. The memories of the Londoners are still fresh: Just recently, at the end of July they met in the final of the Audi Cup, where Spurs were able to win a hard-fought game 6-5 on penalties.
In official competitive matches, the clubs have already faced each other four times, and the stats put the record champions just ahead with two wins, one draw and one loss. However, the last time they met was some time ago, when they reached the last 16 of the 1983 UEFA Cup campaign, the predecessor of the Europa League. Despite a 1-0 first leg win, the Reds were knocked out after losing the second leg 2-0. Here, fcbayern.com profiles the Munich side's next opponents.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, founded in 1882 in the Tottenham district of the North London borough of Haringey, was initially unable to establish itself permanently in the top English league in its early years. Nevertheless, Spurs, or Lilywhites, as they are often called, achieved a novelty in 1901 as the first non-league team to win the FA Cup, thereby securing the first major title in the club's history.
The most successful period for the North Londoners was in the post-war years, when they caused a sensation both domestically and internationally. In 1961 Tottenham became the first English club in the 20th century to celebrate winning the double of league and FA Cup in a single season. In 1963 Spurs achieved another first when they became the first British team to win a European club competition with their triumph in the European Cup Winners' Cup. That was followed by Tottenham's victories in the UEFA Cup in 1972 and 1984, which today adorn the club's letterhead along with two First Division titles, eight FA Cup successes and four League Cups.
Since a year in the second tier in the 1976/77 season, Spurs have played consistently at the highest level of professional English football and hence have also been a permanent fixture in the Premier League, which was founded in 1992. Over the past ten years, they've established themselves in the top five, and the most successful season was in 2016/17 when they finished as runners-up to Chelsea. But Spurs fans have been waiting longer for other titles. The last triumph - winning the League Cup in 2008 - was more than eleven years ago.
Champions League record
The North Londoners qualified for Europe's premier competition for the seventh time this season. In the all-time Champions League standings, Tottenham lie in 40th place with 60 points, their biggest success so far coming when they reached last season's final, where they lost 2-0 to league rivals Liverpool. At the start of the current campaign, Spurs had to be content with a 2-2 draw at Olympiacos despite having led 2-0 at one point.
Since April 2019, the Londoners have played their home games in the brand-new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the northeast of the UK's capital. The multi-purpose arena has a capacity of 62,062 and was partly built on the site of their former White Hart Lane stadium, on which demolition started in 2017. Special features of the new arena include a synthetic turf pitch under the retractable main pitch for playing American football, its own brewery, England's longest bar (Goal Line Bar), its own toilet for dogs and a 180-room hotel.
A former Southampton and Espanyol coach, Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino has been in charge of the club's sporting fortunes since May 2017. The 47-year-old former player and 20-time Argentina international prefers to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Compared to last season, Pochettino can draw on a squad almost identical to the one with which he made it into the Champions League final. Kieran Trippier, who went to Atletico Madrid was the only first-team player to leave the club this summer. The squad, which was already peppered with numerous internationals, was strengthened by Tanguy Ndombele, among others, who arrived from Lyon for a club record fee of €60 million.
The club's flagship player is without a doubt England striker Harry Kane (26), who has scored an impressive 170 goals in 261 games for Tottenham. Kane is supported in attack by Christian Eriksen (27), Dele Alli (23) and former Bundesliga player Heung-Min Son (27). At the back, Pochettino relies in particular on the experience of the two Belgian veterans Toby Alderweireld (30) and 32-year-old Jan Vertonghen.
Last season Tottenham finished fourth in the Premier League to qualify for this year's Champions League. The start to the new season, however, has been rather mixed for Spurs, who have managed only three wins in their first seven games (two draws and two defeats) which already leaves them ten points adrift of leaders Liverpool. However, they did manage to defeat Southampton 2-1 last weekend. The two goals were scored by Ndombele and Kane.