Created on 01-10-2018 at 15:45 PM by Redaktion
The Champions League returns to the Allianz Arena! Five months after the last home match against Real Madrid in Europe's premier club competition, FC Bayern entertain Ajax in their first home match in this year's group stage on Tuesday evening (live in English from 21.00 CEST on our exclusive fcbayern.com ticker). After the 2-0 victory away to Benfica, the German record champions aim to take another three points and a crucial step towards the knockout stages.
"I'm glad a great match awaits us, with two great clubs that dominated European football in the 70s, with fantastic players," declared Bayern coach Niko Kovac before his first Champions League home match. After two winless matches against FC Augsburg and Hertha Berlin, Kovac expects the right answer from his team. "I wish and hope for a reaction, not only for the match against Ajax but also for the match next weekend."
Ajax got off to a successful start to the group stage, beating AEK Athens 3-0. The Dutch record champions top the table in Group E due to a better goal difference. Ajax are "a very talented team with very high individual quality. You see great quality. They're a very strong team, they like to have the ball and control the rhythm," said Kovac, whose men aim to "stamp our authority on the match, but we'll have to push to our limits for that."
Delay for Ajax
Arjen Robben, who scored his first goal as a pro against Ajax back in March 2001, issued a warning against his compatriots, who are lying second behind PSV Eindhoven in the domestic Eredivisie. "They have many young players, but players with character. Their current development is good," said the 34-year-old. "They have a good team, we'll have to turn in a good performance, otherwise they'll make life difficult for us."
Leon Goretzka, who was unavailable away to Berlin on Friday due to an ankle injury, is fit again and completed the full squad programme on Monday. "All players we have at our disposal, 16 outfield players and three goalkeepers, are fit," declared Kovac. The Bayern boss has to make do without Rafinha, Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman.
Ajax travel to Munich buoyed by a 2-0 victory away to Fortuna Sittard. Kasper Dolberg and Hakim Ziyech scored for the team lead by coach Erik ten Hag, who was in charge of the FC Bayern reserves from 2013 to 2015. However, Ajax' journey on Monday morning was not without complications. Departure from Amsterdam was delayed by more than two hours due to a blackout.