Created on 2019-12-10 at 19:45 PM
FC Bayern can make history on Wednesday evening when they host Tottenham Hotspur at the Allianz Arena in their final Champions League group match (live ticker from 3:00 ET on fcbayern.com). Having won their previous five games, the men from Munich can become the first German side to ever claim maximum points from the group stage of Europe’s premier club competition. “We want to get back on track with a win, so the record is very important to us,” said Thomas Müller at Tuesday’s press conference. fcbayern.com brings you the lowdown on the clash with Spurs.
Bayern have already secured their place in the last 16 after their commanding 6-0 win at Red Star Belgrade two weeks ago, which confirmed Hansi Flick’s men as winners of Group B. That means the Reds will be drawn against a second-placed team in the first knockout round.
And it’s not just their record of five wins from five games that underlines what an impressive Champions League campaign it’s been so far for FCB. With 21 goals (an average of 4.2 per game), Bayern are also the highest-scoring side in the competition. Four of those were scored by Serge Gnabry in the magnificent 7-2 win in the reverse fixture against Tottenham.
Tottenham are also safely through to the last 16 with 10 points. They secured second place in the group with a 4-2 victory at Olympiakos last time out. José Mourinho has now been at the helm for three weeks after the club parted company with long-serving coach Mauricio Pochettino. Spurs have won four of their five matches in all competitions under Mourinho, most recently thrashing Burnley 5-0 in the Premier League, where they’re currently in seventh place.
“Tottenham will be compact in defense and then try to counter quickly,” assessed FCB boss Flick. “They’ve utilized their attacking qualities in recent games and finished off attacks very quickly.”
Alongside long-term absentees Niklas Süle (torn cruciate ligament), Lucas Hernández (ankle injury) and Fiete Arp (rehab following a scaphoid fracture), Bayern will also have to do without Michaël Cuisance (compression and irritation in right ankle) and Corentin Tolisso (stiffness in left thigh), as Flick revealed at the press conference: “We’ve got a few injured players. Tolisso won’t be fit for tomorrow, but hopefully everyone else will be available.”
What the coaches say
Hansi Flick: “I’m pleased with how the team are playing. Of course, what counts in the end are points and goals. In the last two games, we’ve not made enough of the chances we’ve created. We need positive results and we want to put on a good performances in front of our fans. Tomorrow is an important step in turning it around.”
José Mourinho: “It’s an important game for us because we represent Tottenham. That gives us a certain responsibility. We’ll concentrate on our game and try to bring through our principles. I’ve not had a lot of time, so the game is also a great opportunity for some players to show what they’re capable of. We’ll make some changes and rest a few players.”
Having netted 21 times, Bayern have already equalled the German record for goals scored in a Champions League group stage set by Borussia Dortmund during the 2016/17 campaign. Only Paris Saint-Germain (25) and Liverpool (23) in the 2017/18 season have ever scored more.
Gianluca Rocchi is the man in the middle for the clash between Bayern and Spurs. It will be the 46-year-old Italian’s fifth match involving the German champions. His first three all ended in victory, while the most recent one was the 0-0 draw in the round of 16 first leg against Liverpool last season. Filippo Meli and Giorgio Peretti will assist Rocchi, with Paolo Valeri as the video referee.
Bayern will play in all red, with our goalkeeper wearing grey. Tottenham will be in their navy away kit, with the goalie in turquoise.