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"Passionate crowd in store"

Red Star and intimidating crowd stand in Bayern's way

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Just three days after their impressive showing at Fortuna Düsseldorf, Bayern return to Champions League action. The German record champions visit Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday night (live ticker from 20:00 CET on aiming to continue their three-match winning streak. “We’re concentrating fully on this game and are determined to win. We’re very well-prepared and want to put in another good performance, as we’ve been doing in recent weeks,” commented sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić. rounds up all the information you need to know ahead of Matchday 5 of the group stage.

The situation

FCB have enjoyed a perfect Champions League campaign so far with 12 points from four games, putting them in a commanding position at the top of Group B. Although their place in the round of 16 is already in the bag, Bayern’s motivation to win in Belgrade is not reduced. “We want to continue our good run and win the group,” declared Leon Goretzka in Monday’s press conference. It will be the seventh meeting between the two teams overall, with the Reds winning 3-0 in the reverse fixture.

The opposition

Red Star are dominating things in their domestic league but they are battling to stay in European competition. With three points from their four matches, the Serbians occupy third place in Group B behind Tottenham (seven) and in front of Olympiakos (one). They therefore require a win on Tuesday and Spurs not to beat Olympiakos in order to still be in with a mathematical chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

“Belgrade need the points and will be fired up,” warned Goretzka. The Serbian champions can also count on the backing of Rajko Mitić Stadium. “A passionate crowd will be in store for us. I like stadiums where it gets emotional,” said an excited Goretzka.

Team news

Along with long-term absentees Niklas Süle (torn cruciate), Lucas Hernández (ankle injury) and Fiete Arp (rehab after scaphoid fracture), Bayern will be without David Alaba in Belgrade. The Austrian is awaiting the birth of his first child and is therefore staying in Munich. Michaël Cuisance was also unable to travel due to illness. Jérôme Boateng is available again after his domestic ban, although Hansi Flick would not confirm whether the 2014 World Cup winner would start. “I’ve not yet decided who will play.”

What the coaches say

Hansi Flick: “The atmosphere at this stadium is something special. I’m looking forward to experiencing it – we all are. We know it will be a tough match with the atmosphere but we want to wrap up top spot in the group.”

Pedro Martins, coach of Red Star Belgrade: “One of the best teams in the world are coming to us. We’ll do our best to hold our own. Hopefully the fans in a full stadium can carry us for 90 minutes.”

Top fact

Bayern have qualified for the last 16 for the 12th year in a row. Since the start of the treble-winning 2012/13 season, FCB have won 36 group games and collected 111 points, both of which are records in that period. The Munich men are also unbeaten in their last 14 Champions League group games (W12 D2).

The referee

Björn Kuipers of the Netherlands will take charge of Thursday’s meeting in Belgrade. It’s the 46-year-old’s third assignment in the competition this season. Kuipers has refereed four previous Bayern matches, with a record of two wins, one draw and one defeat. Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra will assist Kuipers on the touchlines, while Pol van Boekel is the video referee.

The kits

Bayern will wear their blue Champions League jersey tomorrow, with the goalkeeper in all green. The hosts will be in red and white.