Harry Kane and Leroy Sané are both in fine fettle ahead of Bayern Munich's meeting with Galatasaray. - © Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Harry Kane and Leroy Sané are both in fine fettle ahead of Bayern Munich's meeting with Galatasaray. - © Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

5 reasons Bayern Munich will beat Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League


The sensational form of Harry Kane and Leroy Sane, the return of Manuel Neuer, Mathys Tel's 'super-sub' status, and Bayern Munich's sensational Champions League record. bundesliga.com lays out the reasons why the record German champions can defeat Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League.

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1) Ha-roy Kané

Kane and Sané had never previously played with each other, but you would not have guessed that given how they have teamed up telepathically in the England captain's first games at Bayern.

The bond has no doubt been reinforced by the efforts Sané and his English wife have made in helping Kane settle in Germany, but on the pitch, the pair have been nothing short of unstoppable.

Kane has 15 goals and five assists in just 10 Bundesliga games, and the summer arrival from Tottenham Hotspur is the first Bayern player ever - that means better than Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gomez, Luca Toni, Claudio Pizarro, Gerd Müller et al - to score so often in his first 10 league appearances for the record German champions. In fact, nobody in Bundesliga history had ever netted 15 times in so few games. That's before you add in his two goals and two assists in three European outings to go with it.

Watch: Every Harry Kane goal so far in the Bundesliga

Sané has netted eight times himself and provided four assists in the league, to go with his goal and assist in the Champions League. With 11 goals and eight assists, Sané has been involved in an incredible 19 goals in his last 19 starts in Europe's premier club competition.

Meanwhile, Sané has already equalled his best-ever single-season Bundesliga tally - and four of his nine strikes in all competitions have been set up by his freshly arrived teammate, while he provided two of Kane's three - his second Bundesliga treble in succession - in Bayern's Klassiker demolition of Borussia Dortmund.

"I said at the beginning that Harry as a personality, as a focal point, as a character will make the players around him better through the way he plays, through his presence," said Thomas Tuchel at the start of the season.

"Harry does what Harry always did. It's a good combination. Not just the two of them, but with both of them it's very obvious at the moment. It helps that Leroy speaks English fluently like a second native language and communication is very easy."

2) The Big Man(uel) is back

Injuries have been a niggling, continuous problem for Bayern this year, with Matthijs de Ligt the latest to get trapped in the treatment room this season.

There has, however, been excellent news on the injury front with Neuer's return to the first team providing a major boost at the back.

Watch: The best of sweeper-keeper Manuel Neuer

His return to action on the eve of Der Klassiker couldn't have been better timed and a clean sheet in the 8-0 win over Darmstadt - Neuer's first outing after missing 10 months with a broken leg - was the perfect welcome back. A second shutout against BVB further built on his encouraging performances back between the sticks.

“I was just really excited to be back at the Allianz Arena, to play in front of my own fans and to be on the pitch with the team," said the Bayern skipper after the Darmstadt victory, and Neuer will certainly relish following up the crucial win over Dortmund with a Champions League return on home soil.

3) Bayern are practically unbeatable

Here's something to make you feel really old: Bayern's last home defeat in the UEFA Champions League group stage dates back to 10 December 2013 (3-2 against Manchester City) when Mathys Tel was aged just eight.

This won't make you feel a lot better: Tel was 12 when Bayern were beaten 3-0 at the Parc des Princes by Paris Saint-Germain, their last loss in the Champions League group stage.

The defending Bundesliga champions Bayern are now unbeaten in 37 Champions League group games, winning their last 16 in a row – both of which are outright competition records. They have won 27 of their previous 28 home group games.

Bayern are top of Group A after winning all three of their Champions League games so far this season, including victory over Galatasaray last time out. - Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

4) Turkish delight

Well, truth be told, it is Bayern's delight at facing Turkish opposition, and definitely not the other way round. In seven games - four versus Besiktas, three against Galatasaray - Bayern have won six times and the only time they didn't, the match ended in a draw.

It was their very first meeting with Galatasaray, which came in the first leg of the then-European Cup's first round in September 1972. The match ended 1-1 with Gerd Müller getting the equaliser; he scored twice in the 6-0 second-leg victory that followed to take Bayern through handsomely.

Galatasaray are back in the Champions League for the first time in four years, and their sole previous visit to Munich was the aforementioned six-goal thumping in 1972/73 – Bayern’s joint-biggest European win.

Following Bayern's 3-1 win in Istanbul on Matchday 3, they hold a 21-2 aggregate score over Turkish teams.

Watch: The best Leroy Sané ever?

5) Tel-ing contribution

What has got to be worrying for any Bayern opponent is that Kane and Sané are not the only goal threat. The pair account for 20 of the Bavarian giants' 34 league goals so far, but a further seven men have also scored. 

There have also been six players who have found the net in Bayern's three Champions League games so far this campaign, and Tel is level with Kane and Jamal Musiala as the club's two-goal top-scorers in Europe.

The 18-year-old French forward's impact has been such this season - his second at Bayern since joining from Rennes - that Rudi Völler, the DFB's sporting director, recently suggested Germany could try and persuade Tel to change his sporting allegiance.

The 1990 FIFA World Cup winner is not joking, and you understand why when you look at Tel's stats. In his nine league appearances this season, he has been on the pitch for a total of 166 minutes, but has already scored three times. 

Watch: All of Tel's Bundesliga goals so far

He has found the net in two Champions League outings so far, and his nine goals in all competitions after coming off the bench since the start of his Bayern career - the last eight of which have come in the final 15 minutes of matches - make him the most dangerous ace up Tuchel's sleeve.

"You can see that he wants to score goals - that's a great quality," said Thomas Müller recently of Tel, who earlier this month made his France U21 debut under new coach Thierry Henry, a player Tel has often been compared to.

"Thinking back to when Arjen Robben was playing, we used to think he should have been looking for the pass - but he was so focused on scoring and he scored a lot. Mathys should keep doing his thing: firing shots in on goal. He's a superb finisher."