Manuel Veth –
Bayern Munich vs Tottenham – Wednesday, December 11, 20:00GMT/21:00CET – Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Bayern Munich have already qualified for the round of 16 as the winners of Group B. But losses against Bayer Leverkusen (2-1) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-1) have brought an abrupt end to Hansi Flick’s honeymoon at Bayern.
The interims coach took over from Niko Kovač following a 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in November. What followed was four games in which Bayern scored 16 goals and conceded none. But then one week ago against Leverkusen, the side once again showed the same weaknesses that often ailed the club during the Kovač era.
Although dominant, Bayern highlighted significant defensive weaknesses when hit on the counter. Against Leverkusen Leon Bailey hit Bayern twice on the counter and against Gladbach, it was Marcus Thuram, who escaped only to be brought down by Javi Martínez inside the penalty box.
“It was just like last week against Leverkusen,” Hansi Flick said after the game to the German station Sky. “For 60 minutes we were the better team, then Gladbach highlighted why they are first in the standings.”
“In the second half we lacked the confidence to see the game out,” Manuel Neuer said after the game. “On balance we were to tame,” Neuer concluded. “We have to ensure that we beat Tottenham and collect all nine points in the Bundesliga,” Thomas Müller said to Der Spiegel.
What does that mean for the decisive game against Tottenham? On paper, there is not much to gain for either side on Wednesday. But the Spurs will certainly want revenge for the 7-2 defeat suffered at home in the first leg. Furthermore, under the new coach, José Mourinho, results have improved dramatically.
The Portuguese head coach has averaged 2.4 points in the five games he has been in charge at the North London side. Playing with a more basic 4-2-3-1 formation Tottenham appear more compact, but at the same time have not lost their attacking flair, as 16 goals in five matches underline.
For Mourinho’s side, the emphasis will be on keeping the positive momentum going. For Bayern, it will be about breaking the spiral of negative results. As a result, this will be an intriguing affair at the Allianz Arena where Bayern will be the slight favourites for the win.
Bayern Munich vs Tottenham – Players to look out for:
Robert Lewandowski #9 – Bayern Munich
Lewandowski, who has scored in every group game and is the top scorer in this season’s Champions League with ten goals, hit four in a 6-0 win at Crvena zvezda on Matchday 5—at 14 minutes the fastest quadruple in Champions League history. With both teams already qualified the game will be less about who will win but almost more about Lewandowski’s duel with Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
Harry Kane #10 – Tottenham
Harry Kane might be the best striker in England but is he the best in the world? On Wednesday we might get some answers to that question. Kane has scored 15 goals in 20 games across all competitions this season, including six in the Champions League. Also while Lewandowski was left off the scoresheet on Saturday against Gladbach, Kane managed two goals against Burnley.
Bayern Munich vs Tottenham – Match Stats
- Bayern are the only side with maximum points after five matches. The German champions are also the competition’s top-scoring team with 21 goals, four more than Tottenham.
- Spurs had won only one of six games in the UEFA Champions League (D1 L4) before Matchday 3, but have now recorded three successive victories.
- The Lilywhites picked up only two points on their travels in the 2018/19 group stage, and have won only four of their 14 away group matches in the UEFA Champions League – and two of the last seven.
- Tottenham’s record in Germany is W5 D2 L6; they have lost only once in their last six visits (W3 D2).
- Their heaviest European defeat came in Germany – an 8-0 loss at Köln in the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup, the last time they had conceded seven goals before losing to Bayern on Matchday 2.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Bayern Munich vs Tottenham – 2-1
Bayern Munich vs Tottenham – Lineups
Neuer – Davies, Alaba, Boateng, Pavard – Coutinho, Kimmich, Goretzka – Coman, Lewandowski, Gnabry
Head Coach: Hansi Flick
Gazzaniga – B. Davies, Vertonghen, Foyth, Walker-Peters – Lo Celso, Dier, Sissoko – Skipp, Alli – Kane
Head Coach: Jose Mourinho
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.