Champions League Group B: Bayern Munich takes on Olympiacos, Red Star Belgrade test for Spurs

Group B topper Bayern Munich will face Olympiacos, while Spurs will look to climb the table when it takes on Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

Niko Kovac's Bayern Munich sits on top of Group B after winning its opening two matches, with the second one being a 7-2 thrashing of Spurs a fortnight ago.   -  Bongarts

Bayern Munich will travel to Greece to take on Olympiacos in the Champions League on Tuesday with key defender Niklas Suele sidelined owing to injury.

Niko Kovac’s side, which sits on top of Group B, will look to further extend its lead after its 7-2 thrashing of Spurs a fortnight ago.

Bayern must back up the Spurs trouncing in Athens on the back of below-par performances in the Bundesliga and the loss of Germany centre-back Suele. The side suffered its first defeat this season 10 days ago by crashing 2-1 at home to Hoffenheim, then leaked a 91st-minute equaliser in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Augsburg to stay third in the Bundesliga. The point at Augsburg carried a high price as torn knee ligaments means Suele should be sidelined for the next six months.

Olympiacos, meanwhile, will look for its maiden win of the UCL season as it is at the bottom of the table with one point, as it drew with Spurs and lost to Red Star.

STATS BOX

- Olympiacos has lost all four of its European meetings against Bayern Munich, losing twice in the 1980-81 European Cup and twice in the 2015-16 Champions League.

11 - Bayern Munich is unbeaten in all 11 of its European matches against Greek opponents (W9 D2 L0), keeping clean sheets in its last eight meetings with teams from that nation.

 

- Tottenham faced with fresh Champions League rescue mission -

Tottenham’s miserable start to the season shows little sign of improving quickly, but prior to Red Star Belgrade’s visit on Tuesday, Spurs can take some solace from the fact they are in a better position in the Champions League than they were 12 months ago.

Defeats to Inter Milan and Barcelona saw the side travel to PSV Eindhoven for what manager Mauricio Pochettino described as a “must-win”. After a 2-2 draw in the Netherlands, Pochettino admitted his side’s Champions League campaign was “nearly over.”

Yet, eight months later, the Argentine had led Tottenham to its first ever Champions League final.

Chances of a first trophy under Pochettino in the League Cup have already gone after an embarrassing exit on penalties to fourth-tier Colchester and Spurs are already five points off the pace just for a place in the Premier League’s top four.

However, Pochettino admitted that the most damaging defeat of all came last time out in the Champions League, when Bayern Munich ran riot in the second-half to hand Spurs a 7-2 thrashing.

“After Bayern Munich our confidence was on the floor,” said Pochettino after a 1-1 draw at home to the Premier League’s bottom club Watford on Saturday.

The heaviest defeat ever suffered at home by an English side in European competition may have had a lasting effect, but it is not terminal to Tottenham’s chances of again pulling itself off the canvas and into the Champions League last 16.

If Spurs can beat the Serbian champion at home on Tuesday, they will move into second place in Group B, as long as Olympiakos don’t shock Bayern in Greece.

STAT BOX

14 - Spurs striker Harry Kane has scored 14 goals in 16 Champions League group stage matches. Since his debut in the competition in September 2016, only Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski (19) have scored more goals in the group stages.

- Red Star Belgrade is looking to win consecutive European Cup/Champions League matches for the first time since March 1992, when it won three in a row as the winner of the European Cup.

 

(With inputs from AFP)

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