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Champions League Matchday 4
Allianz Arena, Munich
  • 26' Robert Lewandowski
  • 32' Serge Gnabry
  • 50' Leroy Sané
  • 61' Robert Lewandowski
  • 84' Robert Lewandowski
FC Bayern Munich
5 : 2
(2:1)
Benfica Lissabon
  • 38' Morato
  • 74' Darwin Núñez
  • 26' Robert Lewandowski
  • 32' Serge Gnabry
  • 50' Leroy Sané
  • 61' Robert Lewandowski
  • 84' Robert Lewandowski
  • 38' Morato
  • 74' Darwin Núñez
Preview

Bayern aiming to "book place in knockout stage" against Benfica

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Can Bayern book their place in the knockout stage of the Champions League with games to spare? They will do just that with a result at home to Benfica on Tuesday on Matchday 4 of Group E (kick-off at 4:00 PM EST, coverage on fcbayern.com with our live text and free web radio). Coach Julian Nagelsmann is also expecting to be back on the touchline after his self-isolation. “I think and hope the test tomorrow will be negative, then I’ll be back. The last PCR test from five days ago was already borderline, the rapid tests have all been negative since Sunday,” the 34-year-old said explaining his situation at his press conference on Monday. Find out in our preview below how Bayern can make it through to the round of 16 and further information on the clash with the Portuguese giants.

Check out the best photos from Bayern’s final preparations on Monday ahead of facing Benfica:

Situation for Bayern

Nine points and a record of 12 goals scored, none conceded is Bayern’s best-ever start to a Champions League campaign after three matches. It means a draw against Benfica would be enough for FCB to progress to the knockout stage with games to spare, as 10 points would ensure Nagelsmann’s men couldn’t be dislodged from the top two regardless of the result between Dynamo Kyiv and Barcelona. But Alphonso Davies, who turns 21 on the day of the game, is only aiming for a win: “I want a good performance with the team and we want the three points.” The Reds had the perfect reaction to their DFB Cup exit to Borussia Mönchengladbach and returned to winning ways on Sunday with a 5-2 victory away at Union Berlin. The German champions now want to build on that against Benfica.

The opposition

The Portuguese club are currently second in Group E, behind Bayern on four points. A goalless draw away at Kyiv was followed by a 3-0 victory at home to Barcelona before they were beaten 4-0 by FCB in Lisbon a fortnight ago. The Eagles also suffered a setback in the league at the weekend as they were held to a 1-1 draw by promoted Estoril and slipped down to third place. “They’re a team with great quality. They have a good mentality and also a lot of experience. There’s good physicality up front,” Nagelsmann said of Tuesday’s opponents. The next 90 minutes will decide whether that’s enough for them to beat Bayern at the 12th time of asking.

Benfica had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the league at the weekend:

Fitness update

“We’ll decide tomorrow who plays. There’s a thought to give some of the players who’ve featured most a break before Saturday [Bundesliga game against Freiburg). But they’re both important games. That’s why we have to figure out the workload. We’ll look at things tomorrow,” Nagelsmann explained. Leon Goretzka missed the Union game with a heel problem, while Lucas Hernandez had to go off with a knock, but both are expected to be fit to feature. Goalkeeper Sven Ulreich is definitely out, having only just returned to team training on Monday following his knee injury. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is also out after only completing running training after a thigh strain.

Ulreich returned to training on the eve of the game:

Benfica have made the trip to Munich without Rodrigo Pinho (knee), Haris Seferovic, Andre Almeida and Valentino Lazaro (all muscular).

What the coaches say

Julian Nagelsmann: “They caused us problems in the reverse fixture with their speed going forward. You saw they’re always capable of being a threat and defend aggressively. We need a very mature performance. We’re going to try to make it 12 points and get through to the knockout stage. We want to continue our record of the opening games.”

Jorge Jesus: “We’re up against a very strong opponent who will test us. They’re technically very good. We know we can win, but we’re facing a team who will force us to defend a lot. Theoretically, we’re prepared. Let’s see how that works out in practice.”

Listen to Nagelsmann and Davies at the pre-match press conference:

Referee Marciniak

Tuesday’s officials hail from Poland, led by Szymon Marciniak. He previously oversaw the 2015/16 quarter-final first leg between Bayern and Benfica at the Allianz Arena, when FCB prevailed 1-0. However, the Reds lost their second game involving Marciniak 1-0 away at Atletico Madrid in the 2016/17 group stage.

Check out five facts and figures on the Benfica clash: