Five-time UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich take on 2018/19 runners-up Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, and there are plenty of reasons why Hansi Flick's men can be confident of picking up another victory over Spurs, even with both already guaranteed a place in the knockout rounds.
bundesliga.com runs you through five of those reasons ahead of the meeting at the Allianz Arena.
1. A goalscoring great
Robert Lewandowski goes into the game looking to add to a whopping 63 Champions League goals he already has to his name across 84 appearances for both Bayern and Borussia Dortmund. It puts the 31-year-old fifth on the list of all-time UCL goalscorers, having already overtaken Ruud van Nistelrooy (56) this season and leaving him just one behind Karim Benzema (64). The Poland captain will have his sights set on dislodging former Schalke man and veritable Champions League legend Raul (71) in third place before hanging up his boots, leaving just the frankly ridiculous exploits of Lionel Messi (114) and Cristiano Ronaldo (127) out alone in front.
Watch: All of Lewandowski's Bundesliga goals so far in 2019/20
It means Bayern head into the meeting with Spurs armed with one of the greatest strikers in the tournament’s history. His goal-ratio of one every 0.67 games further highlights the point, with only van Nistelrooy (0.77), Ronaldo (0.77) and Messi (0.82) scoring more regularly than Lewandowski out of any of the tournament’s top 20 goalscorers in the Champions League era. For context, Spurs have scored just 84 Champions League goals in their entire history, a stat that contrasts the English Premier League club’s newcomer status in the competition with Lewandowski’s own vast European experience.
And they meet Lewandowski in - even for his incredibly lofty standards - exceptional form this term. The Pole may not have scored in his last three Bundesliga outings, but he still has an astonishing 16 league goals to his name in 2019/20. As if that were not enough, he has found the target in every Champions League game this season and is the competition's leading marksman with 10 goals. He even hit four in a competition-record 16-minute spell against Red Star Belgrade last time out. Spurs, you have been warned...
2. An ace up their sleeve
After the signing of Philippe Coutinho this summer, Lewandowski explained: “He can be the key in important games, especially in the Champions League - that special something.” And if there is one team that can substantiate Lewandowski’s claim, it’s Tottenham.
Coutinho has a stunning record against Spurs, losing just twice in 14 appearances against the North Londoners while notching up eight wins and four draws, as well as scoring three goals and laying on three assists. In the Champions League, Coutinho has three wins, one draw and a single defeat to Spurs.
The Brazilian played from start to finish in Bayern's 7-2 mauling of Tottenham at the start of October and gave a breathtaking glimpse of his unique gifts with a sublime assist to set up Lewandowski with a deft waft of his right boot. Another strong display on Wednesday will provide further evidence of Lewandowski’s early assessment of his new teammate, which Bayern fans will hope ends up prophetic come the end of the season.
3. Rested Gnabry ready to wreak fresh torment
Speaking of the 7-2 win, it would be remiss not to give special mention to the chief architect of that triumph, Serge Gnabry. Not only did the 24-year-old tee up Lewandowski just before the interval to put Bayern 2-1 ahead, he went on to score four second-half goals to almost single-handedly break Spurs' resolve and pave the way for Bayern to top Group B ahead of their biggest challengers for pole position.
A one-off? Well, the Germany international may not have hit four in one game since then, but he remains in scintillating form, scoring against Augsburg, Borussia Dortmund and Fortuna Düsseldorf in the intervening period to take his Bundesliga tally to four goals and as many assists in 12 games.
Could he be Spurs' bogey man once again? The signs are there that Flick seems to think so. Gnabry was rested against both Red Star Belgrade at the end of November and Borussia Mönchengladbach at the weekend, meaning he comes into Wednesday's game having played just 90 minutes in the previous 18 days. A fresh and super-charged super-Serge? Uh oh.
4. Champions League pedigree
Spurs reached a first Champions League final in their history last season, a run that eventually ended in disappointment at the hands of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, serving as some redemption for the former Dortmund coach who tasted defeat to Bayern at Wembley six years ago. In fact, Tottenham have competed in just five Champions League campaigns and only once in the tournament’s pre-1992 European Cup guise.
As for Bayern, they have unrivalled European know-how, having lifted the continent’s top trophy no fewer than five times. This season is also their 23rd consecutive Champions League campaign, while the Bavarians have missed just four of its editions since the rebrand 27 years ago. Not only that, until last year, when they exited the last-16 stage at the hands of eventual winners Liverpool, Bayern had reached the quarter-finals or better in seven consecutive seasons.
Watch: Bayern’s treble-winning 2012/13 season
It proves they have the wherewithal to balance domestic success with deep runs in Europe’s premier club competition. Five of the side that beat Dortmund to the Champions League trophy remain at the club in the shape of Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Javi Martinez and Thomas Müller. They also have Thiago Alcantara in their ranks, who featured for Barcelona in their 2010/11 Champions League success. It means Bayern boast six continental conquerors, compared to none in the entire Tottenham squad.
5. No way, Jose
What the Spurs players may lack in continental know-how, however, their new boss more than makes up for. Jose Mourinho, who replaced Mauricio Pochettino at the helm in mid-November, has won the Champions League twice as coach (in 2004 and 2010) and has overseen four wins (one defeat) in his five games in charge of Tottenham so far.
That said, his record against Bayern is not a positive one. The 2010 Champions League triumph with Inter Milan came against the Bavarians in Madrid, but that is one of just two wins in six meetings with the club over the years
The other four have all ended in defeats for the Portuguese tactician, including the last three (two semi-final losses with Real Madrid in 2011/12 and the UEFA Supercup defeat with Chelsea in 2013).
Moreover, Mourinho has never beaten Bayern in Munich, while the Reds have not lost a Champions League group game on home turf since December 2013, winning 25 of 32 fixtures at the Allianz Arena in the competition since then.