Created on 21-10-2019 at 19:00 PM
FC Bayern take on Olympiacos in their second Champions League away match this season on Tuesday (follow the action in English from 21.00 CEST with our exclusive fcbayern.com live updates). The German record champions have often had reason to celebrate on recent trips in Europe's premier club competition.
Bayern went unbeaten in their tenth consecutive Champions League away match when they thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 7-2. If they stand their ground in Piraeus, Niko Kovač' men will set a new club record. "We're turned in very good performances in the Champions League so far, we want to pick up where we left off," declared sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić.
The German champions failed to win their last two Bundesliga matches, but in the Champions League they are "right on target" (captain Manuel Neuer). They boast the best start to the Champions League in the club's history, winning their first two matches, scoring ten goals and conceding only two. A victory away to Olympiacos would mean a giant stride towards the knockout stages, and the Bavarians want to take it: "We travel to Piraeus to win. It would be a big step towards the last sixteen," Ivan Perišić said in an interview.
The situation could not be more different for Olympiacos: they have 19 points from seven league matches, enjoying a cushion at the top of the standings. But they got off to a patchy start to their Champions League campaign, taking one point from two matches. However, Kovač is expecting a "difficult match." Bayern must not underestimate the Greeks. Olympiacos bounced back after going two goals down against Tottenham, the game ending in a 2-2 draw. They were in the lead for a long time in their second match away to Red Star Belgrade before going a man down, the match ending in a 3-1 reverse. "Olympiacos are a very strong team, especially when they're spurred on by their fans here at home. You saw it against Tottenham," said David Alaba.
Sadly, Niklas Süle sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Saturday's 2-2 draw away to Augsburg and will be sidelined for a long time. "It's a bitter setback for us," commented Salihamidžić, but Kovač stressed the "quality in this position" in Bayern's squad, convinced "we'll compensate for the heavy loss." On a more positive note, Lucas Hernández, David Alaba and Leon Goretzka returned to action against Augsburg after recovering from injuries. Besides Süle, the Bayern coach will be without Michaël Cuisance (thigh problem) and Fiete Arp (scaphoid fracture).
What the coaches say
Niko Kovač: "FC Bayern want to win every match. We know we'll take on very strong opponents who bounced back after going two goals down against Tottenham. We must stress that. The spectators in Greece will get behind their team. It'll be a difficult match, but we're going there to win."
Pedro Martins, Olympiacos coach: "FC Bayern are the strongest team in the group, but everyone in my team wants to fight to achieve a victory. Everyone must believe in it, the team and the fans. Of course it's a big match against a very strong team but we can achieve a good result if everyone believes in it. We'll make a few changes to the team. We go in wanting a win, regardless of our opponents. We'll see whether a point is more realistic, based on the game."
FC Bayern boast a flawless record against Olympiacos, winning all of their four encounters so far. Munich's overall record against Greek sides in European competition is even more impressive: they have not conceded a single goal in their last eight European matches against Greek teams, keeping a clean sheet. The last side to score against Bayern was Olympiacos, in Bayern's 4-2 away win in the European Champions' Cup on 17 September 1980.
Danny Makkelie will be the man with the whistle for the match in Piraeus. The 36-year-old Dutchman oversaw Bayern's 2-1 victory away to Celtic in October 2017.
Bayern will wear the dark blue Champions League jerseys, their keeper playing in green. Olympiacos will line up in red and white jerseys, with their in yellow.