Bayern Munich will look to get back to winning ways when they host Tottenham at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday in a dead rubber in the Champions League.
Champions League action returns with Tottenham Hotspur travelling to Munich to face Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. It is officially a dead rubber for as both sides have already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League with the Bavarians taking the top spot.
But, considering the scenario at both the clubs, there will be plenty to play from for both the teams and their managers. Bayern and Tottenham have seen identical progress this season with a slow start to the season leading to the sacking of their respective incumbent managers before seeing someone new take charge of the side.
Also, the hosts will be aiming to win this match to get going in the Bundesliga and find some confidence after losing back-to-back matches against Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach. Hansi Flick needs to get his team back on track if he wants to keep the Bayern job for a longer period of time.
On the other hand, Jose Mourinho has slotted in as the Tottenham boss seamlessly, making Dele Alli a lethal weapon going upfront. He has allowed Spurs to play with more authority and belief and apart from the defeat to Manchester United, the Lillywhites have done pretty well under the Portuguese.
We here at The Hard Tackle analyse the match between the two sides in the Champions League group stage fixture.
Hansi Flick will have most of his players available, with only the likes of Lucas Hernandez, Niklas Sule and Jann-Fiete Arp out with long term injuries. Jerome Boateng, meanwhile, is fit to start, while Corentin Tolisso is doubtful after sustaining a knock against Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Bavarians are set to play in a more conventional 4-2-3-1 formation, with Manuel Neuer being the mainstay in goal, while the back four will have Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davies as the full-back pairing. Boateng and David Alaba will form the central defensive partnership, with Javi Martinez sitting out after a below-par performance against the Foals.
Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka are likely to start in a double pivot, with Thiago Alcantara coming in as a substitute later in the game if need be. Philippe Coutinho may feature on the flanks alongside Serge Gnabry, with Thomas Muller playing off Robert Lewandowski.
Probable Lineups (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Goretzka, Kimmich; Gnabry, Muller, Coutinho; Lewandowski
Considering the match is a dead rubber, Jose Mourinho has decided to rest most of the first-team players and will look to field a comparatively young and inexperienced side. To that end, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Serge Aurier did not travel to Munich.
Add to it Tanguy Ndombele’s minor injury and Ben Davies’s continued absence and Mourinho has limited options to chose from. Mourinho may line Spurs up in a 4-1-4-1 or in a conventional 4-2-3-1 formation, with Paulo Gazzaniga set to start between the sticks, with Hugo Lloris still out injured.
In defence, Kyle Walker-Pieters may start as the right back, with Ryan Sessegnon likely to feature as the left-back, as Danny Rose may also be handed a rest. Juan Foyth should partner Davinson Sanchez with Mourinho likely to rest Toby Alderweireld as well.
In midfield, Eric Dier has been a mainstay for the Tottenham boss considering his defensive work ethic. Oliver Skipp is likely to feature alongside Dier in the midfield double pivot, with Christian Eriksen charged with adding the attacking impetus and experience to the Spurs side.
In attack, Giovani Lo Celso may slot in on the left flank with the Argentine struggling for minutes at Tottenham. Lucas Moura is in contention to start on the right, with 17-year old Troy Parrott likely to replace Harry Kane as the central striker.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga; Walker-Pieters, Foyth, Sanchez, Sessegnon; Skipp, Dier; Moura, Eriksen, Lo Celso; Parrott
- Bayern Munich have only lost one of their five previous meetings with Tottenham in all competitions (W3 D1), scoring 13 goals in those five games – over half of which came in their 7-2 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in October this season
- Tottenham are looking to win consecutive away games for the first time in their UEFA Champions League history after winning against Red Star Belgrade the last time they were on the road.
- This will be Spurs’ first visit to Bayern Munich in all competitions since 1983 in the UEFA Cup. The Lillywhites have lost both their away games at Bayern with an aggregate scoreline of 6-1.
- Robert Lewandowski is standing at the doorstep of history, with 10 goals from five matches in the UEFA Champions League this season. The record of most goals scored in the group stage is held by Cristiano Ronaldo, with 11 goals when he scored them for Real Madrid back in the 2015-16 season.
- Bayern Munich’s 7-2 win over Tottenham in the reverse fixture is only the second time an English side had conceded 7+ goals in European competitions, with Spurs themselves losing 8-0 against FC Koln in the Intertoto Cup back in 1995.
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The Polish talisman has been Bayern’s soul this season. Whenever Lewandowski has scored or at least assisted, the Bavarians have taken long strides forward, but with the 31-year-old getting in a shell recently, Bayern have struggled to take their chances and have fallen flat-faced in the Bundesliga for their wasteful attitude.
Lewandowski is the top scorer in the Champions League this season, having netted 10 goals from five fixtures and 27 in all competitions this season. With pressure rising on Hansi Flick, he will once again look at the seasoned striker to find the back of the net.
Bayern Munich 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
It is difficult to predict a game which is a typical dead rubber as both sides have already qualified, with Bayern Munich taking the top spot and irrespective of the result, the summit is out of reach for Jose Mourinho’s men. Tottenham will look to give a good account of themselves away from home especially after the thrashing in the reverse fixture.
With youngsters taking the field, Mourinho will most likely look forward to the performances rather than the final result. Bayern Munich, on the other hand, are desperate to get a win as the Bavarians have lost two matches on the trot in Bundesliga.
Therefore, Hansi Flick needs a win and prolong his stay at the helm. So, considering the quality and also the gulf of experience, this seems to be the match where Bayern find their form back. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for the hosts, which means that they end their group stage perfectly with six out of six wins.