Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will host one of the most anticipated matches of this season’s Champions League as the hosts lock horns with Bayern Munich.
It has been a turbulent start to the campaign for Tottenham Hotspur. After reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League last season, the Lilywhites have started this season on the backfoot. They were expected to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title but have already dropped ten points so far.
This week, the north London giants will look to get their Champions League campaign back on track when they host Bayern Munich. They are coming on the back of a disappointing draw with Olympiacos in the last game, meaning they must at least salvage a point against Bayern on Tuesday.
The Bavarians are, without a doubt, the favourites, having recovered well after their draw with RB Leipzig earlier this month. They have won their last three matches in all competitions, during which they have scored ten goals. Their most recent victory came against newly-promoted Paderborn on the weekend.
However, after Leipzig, this could be a yet another stern test for Bayern Munich. A win for them away from home against Spurs would most likely seal the top spot. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides ahead of this highly anticipated match-up in the Champions League this week.
Team News & Tactics
Mauricio Pochettino could employ a 4-3-1-2 formation, with three midfielders to compete against the technically astute playmakers of Bayern Munich. Harry Winks is a guaranteed starter and the young Englishman will likely be partnered by Tanguy Ndombele and Moussa Sissoko in the middle of the park.
Further forward, Christian Eriksen will likely be deployed as the lone attacking midfielder, just behind the attacking combination of Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane – both of who will play a key role in the first line of press. They will also look to complement each other and make sure that none of them gets too isolated.
Dele Alli, meanwhile, will settle for a place on the bench following a series of underwhelming performances so far this campaign. He will be joined by Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela, though all three of these attackers are excellent options for Pochettino on the bench.
In defence, Serge Aurier is eligible to feature despite being sent off in the last game against Southampton in the Premier League. He will occupy the right-back slot, ahead of Davinson Sanchez and Kyle Walker-Peters.
It won’t be surprising to see Pochettino retaining Danny Rose on the opposite flank, ahead of Ben Davies, who is yet to perform even once this season. The central defensive pairing will comprise of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Winks, Ndombele; Eriksen; Kane, Son
Niko Kovac surprisingly didn’t change much in the win over Paderborn on the weekend. But, that doesn’t mean he will ring in the changes this midweek as Philippe Coutinho is likely to continue featuring as the lone attacking midfielder in Bayern’s 4-2-3-1.
Serge Gnabry is also a guaranteed starter at right-wing. But, the same can’t be said for Kingsley Coman, who could be replaced by Ivan Perisic. The Croatian, however, was having fitness issues and will be assessed just before the game. As for Thomas Muller, he will once again have to settle for a place on the bench.
The Bayern Munich attack will be led by Robert Lewandowski, who has already netted 12 goals in all competitions this season.
No changes are expected in midfield, with Joshua Kimmich forming the double pivot alongside Thiago Alcantara. Leon Goretzka, meanwhile, is still out injured while Mickael Cuisance and Corentin Tolisso cannot be trusted in such a big match.
Kimmich playing in midfield means Benjamin Pavard will continue to feature as the right-back. There might be a change on the opposite flank though with David Alaba returning from injury. The Austrian international will replace Lucas Hernandez, who is unlikely to feature due to fitness problems.
And finally, Niklas Sule will form the central defensive partnership alongside Jerome Boateng, with Manuel Neuer starting in between the sticks.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Pavard, Sule, Boateng, Alaba; Kimmich, Alcantara; Gnabry, Coutinho, Perisic; Lewandowski
- Tottenham last met Bayern during the 1983-84 UEFA Cup campaign, knocking them out 2-1 on aggregate en route to winning the competition – the last trophy they’ve won in Europe.
- Both of Bayern Munich’s previous victories against Tottenham have come at home, with the German side failing to win either of their away visits to face Spurs.
- Tottenham have won each of their last four Champions League matches versus German opponents (all vs Borussia Dortmund).
- Tottenham have won eight of their last 11 Champions League home games, keeping a clean sheet in three of their last four. In fact, Spurs have won nine of their 12 Champions League group stage home matches.
- Bayern Munich are unbeaten in nine away Champions League games, they last went on a longer run between October 2012 and April 2014.
Player to Watch
Isolating Kane would be the primary objective for Bayern Munich this week. But, having Son starting alongside the England international means the defenders will need to take care of the South Korean’s mazy runs across the backline.
Son also has the ability to play in between the lines and ease Tottenham’s transition. Besides, he also has experience of playing against Bayern during his time at Bayer Leverkusen. Hence, stopping Son should be the Bavarians’ number one priority this week if they are to prevent Spurs from taking advantage of their vulnerable defence.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Bayern Munich
As iterated earlier, Bayern Munich are currently on an excellent scoring run and the definite favourites to seal all three points against a struggling Tottenham side. However, their lack of defensive solidity could allow the hosts to turn into a nail-biting encounter.