Group stage experts
Sun, 17/09/23, 17:22
Bayern vs. Manchester United - the facts on the Champions League opener
FC Bayern host English record champions Manchester United on Wednesday night (21:00 CEST) at the start of the Champions League group stage – something they've been the masters of in recent years. Last season, FCB completed a perfect group phase of six wins for the third time – no other club have achieved this so often.
Incredible run in group stage
You have to go back six years for Bayern's last defeat at this stage of the competition, a 3-0 reverse at Paris Saint-Germain in September 2017. Since then, the Munich men have been unbeaten in 34 games in the first round, winning 31 of them including each of the last 13 – another record. In addition, the German record champions have scored at least once in all of their last 40 Champions League group matches on home turf. Not since a 2-0 defeat to Bordeaux in November 2009 have the Allianz Arena faithful been unable to celebrate a goal for their team.
Bayern fast starters
The Bavarians certainly know how to start the campaign well, having won their last 19 opening fixtures in Europe's premier club competition – a record by some distance and also a very good omen, because since that run started with a 2-1 victory over Celtic in 2003/04, FCB have always reached at least the last 16. FCB have netted a whopping 47 goals in those 19 games and conceded just two, and in the last 10 they have an even more impressive goal difference of 29-0.
No home defeats against Man Utd
Of the 11 competitive meetings to date – all of them in the Champions League – Bayern lead with four wins to Manchester United's two (five draws). The Red Devils have only registered more defeats against FC Barcelona (five) in the competition. The Munich men have also never lost to United at home (W3 D2). Again, Barça are the only side they've hosted more often in the UCL without ever losing. However, there's never been a winner in the group-stage meetings between these two sides – something Thomas Tuchel and his team will be hoping to rectify on Wednesday.
Müller on verge of milestone
Thomas Müller is aiming to reach a century of wins in the Champions League! The born-and-bred Bavarian is currently on 99 victories in 142 appearances. If he and his team triumph against United on Wednesday, the 34-year-old will become just the third player in history to crack the 100 wins mark in the competition, joining Cristiano Ronaldo (115) and Iker Casillas (101).
Champions League heavyweights
Bayern are taking part in the Champions League for the 16th successive year and have contested 282 games in the competition. Only Real Madrid have played more (304). It's the club's 27th appearance in the competition overall (joint with Porto), a figure only bettered by Real and Barcelona with 28 participations. Manchester United, meanwhile, are involved for the 25th time, the most for an English Premier League team.
Champions League winner with Bayern and Man Utd - Owen Hargreaves on the battle of his ex-clubs: