Munich - FC Bayern Munich return to the Champions League circuit at LOSC Lille this evening, fresh off the back of a record Bundesliga season-opening start of eight wins on the trot. The German league leaders will take to the pitch in the northern French city with all due caution however - their one taste of defeat so far this season came against BATE Borisov, in this self-same competition three weeks ago.

That surprise setback in Minsk left Jupp Heynckes' men behind BATE and level on three points with Valencia in qualifying Group F. Now they face back-to-back encounters with Lille, starting on the 2011 French champions' home turf (kick-off 20:45 CET).

Back to the roots for Ribery


For a couple of Bayern stars, the encounter at the Grand Stade Lille Métropole will be a return to highly-familiar surroundings. spent three years on the books at youth level with Lille, one of the closest major clubs to the port town of Boulogne-sur-Mer where he was born and grew up.

Things never worked out with Tuesday's opponents though and he would spend years working his way up through the ranks in the French game before his talents truly began to blossom at Marseille. FC Bayern snapped up the wing wizard in 2007 and, now in his sixth Bundesliga campaign, Ribery is back on top form, as most recently demonstrated by his three assists in the 5-0 weekend mauling of Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Praise for the opposition


Unlike Ribery, actually got to turn out for Lille at senior level, albeit only a handful of times. The French outfit was the first stop-off in Europe for the Brazilian defensive organiser, signed from Borussia Mönchengladbach over the summer, and he made twelve league appearances for them in 2004/05 before moving on to Belgium's Sporting Charleroi.

Both players paid their dues to their old club at a pre-match press conference on Tuesday, with Dante stressing that, "Lille are an incredibly dynamic team. It's not for nothing that they won the French title in 2011. We'll all need to be at 100 percent for this one." Ribery echoed that sentiment, noting, "Lille are very awkward opponents. I know a lot of players from the (French) national team. We'll need to be totally focused.

Ground to make up


Focus is the mantra, too, for skipper Philipp Lahm, as he explained to bundesliga.comin an interview ahead of the trip to France. There is a sense, too, of the team having to make good on the one blot on their season copybook to date, that 3-1 loss to BATE.

Bayern were substantially outplayed on the night in the Belarusian capital, but one player who certainly kept plugging away to the finish, striking aluminium before netting the consolation goal, was that man Ribery. The 29-year-old star is enjoying being back on home turf, but there will be no time for sentiment on Tuesday: "I'm sorry to have to say it, but I hope we win. That's very important for us."


Potential line-ups:

LOSC Lille: Landreau - Beria, Rozehnal, Chedjou, Digne - Balmont, Pedretti, Martin - Kalou, Roux, Payet

FC Bayern Munich: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba - Müller, Schweinsteiger, Martinez, Kroos, Ribery, Mandzukic