Harry Kane is just one of five reasons Bayern Munich can beat Manchester United in the Champions League. - © IMAGO/MIS
Harry Kane is just one of five reasons Bayern Munich can beat Manchester United in the Champions League. - © IMAGO/MIS

5 reasons Bayern Munich will beat Manchester United in the Champions League


Bayern Munich have been drawn against great European rivals Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League. Harry Kane is just one of five reasons the Bavarians can be confident of prevailing.

Click here for build-up and live coverage of Bayern vs. Man United!

Bayern and United have been drawn in Group A alongside Galatasaray and Copenhagen, and will go head-to-head at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday 20 December. 

Bayern did the continental treble and intercontinental sextuple under Hansi Flick in 2020, and have the firepower to go far in all competitions once again this season.

bundesliga.com looks at five reasons Bayern will beat Man Utd in the Champions League opener…

1) Goal-king Harry Kane

Watch: Kane under the tactical microscope

The last time Bayern were crowned champions of Europe, a certain Robert Lewandowski was front and centre of their attack. The Polish goal-machine scored 55 goals in all competitions in 2019/20, 15 of which came in the Champions League.

He left for Barcelona last summer and the goals were shared around the Bayern attack, with Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting grabbing 14, 12 and 10 each respectively on the way to winning the Bundesliga on the final day of the season.

But Kane only scored six fewer than that total on his own in the Premier League last season, and is already up and running in the Bundesliga with four goals and an assist from four games. He also has five career goals against United…

Watch: Kane: "Winning Champions League would be a dream come true"

2) A better balance since '99

Perhaps the most famous meeting between Bayern and Man Utd came in May 1999, when the teams met in the Champions League final at Barcelona's Camp Nou. Mario Basler gave Bayern an early lead with a free-kick, but United snatched the win with injury-time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But since that fateful day, Bayern have only lost one of their subsequent eight meetings with United, drawing three times and winning four - including their most recent clash 3-1 in the quarter-finals of the 2013/14 competition.

Read about the top 10 wins by Bundesliga clubs against English opposition

Bayern's loss to Man Utd in 1999 has long since been avenged. - imago images / Sven Simon

Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller remain with the squad having played that day, and have reached at least the quarter-finals eight times since - which is two more times than the Red Devils have even qualified for the competition. Recent history would appear to be on Bayern's side.

3) Tuchel loves a run to the final

Thomas Tuchel replaced Julian Nagelsmann as Bayern head coach last March, and got them over the line for a record-extending 11th consecutive Bundesliga title on the final day of the season, when they beat Cologne 2-1 but nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund were held to a 2-2 draw by Mainz

Tuchel had previously run Bayern close for the Bundesliga title as Dortmund manager, but it is perhaps his unerring knack of competing for, and winning, cup competitions that most caught the eye.

Tuchel lifted the Champions League trophy as Chelsea manager two short years ago. - Getty Images

Tuchel steered PSG to the 2020 Champions League final which they lost 1-0 to Bayern, and then took Chelsea all the way the following year. Also a cup winner in Germany and France, there is perhaps no better tactician to plot a win in a one-off game.

4) Davies hitting his peak

If Kane has been getting Bayern's goals of late, Alphonso Davies has been laying them on - two for the England captain and one more for Mathys Tel in the 4-0 win at Werder Bremen on Matchday 1.

Davies has a rich history in the Champions League, and made its Team of the Season in 2020 after sitting Nelson Semedo down before laying on Joshua Kimmich for the fourth of Bayern's eight goals in their 8-2 drubbing of Barcelona in that season's quarter-finals.

The joint-fastest player in the Bundesliga this season with a top speed of 35.97 km/h (22.35 mph), Davies has the pace and guile to cause opposition right-backs sleepless nights. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, if not Diogo Dalot, have their work cut out.

5) In-Sane record

Curiously for such a dominant player, Leroy Sane only had one goal and one assist in his seven career meetings with Man Utd when still a Manchester City player, but there has been no bottling his talent this season.

The winger has matched Kane for goals - hitting three from three in the Bundesliga - and clocked the fourth-top speed in the top flight with 35.82 km/h (22.26 mph). He also has the joint-seventh most shots league-wide with 13. 

Sane scored in a 2-1 win for Man City over United in April 2019. - Getty Images

Sane will likely be on the opposite flank from Davies, and with United having an injury crisis at left-back - Kane's former Spurs teammate Sergio Reguilon has been drafted in on loan with Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia injured - Bayern could exploit gaps down both sides.