Robert Lewandowski will be looking to fire Bayern Munich to a first UEFA Champions League triumph since 2013, but first up are Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade in Group B. - © 2019 DFL
Robert Lewandowski will be looking to fire Bayern Munich to a first UEFA Champions League triumph since 2013, but first up are Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade in Group B. - © 2019 DFL

UEFA Champions League Group B: what Bayern Munich should look out for against Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade


Having been drawn in UEFA Champions League Group B alongside Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade, what do Bayern Munich need to watch out for in Europe in the coming months? takes a closer look...

Bayern Munich

How they got there

Bayern qualified automatically for the group stage of the competition after sealing a seventh successive Bundesliga crown on Matchday 34 last season.

Key player

Robert Lewandowski has enjoyed eight straight seasons of Champions League football, plundering 53 goals in 80 appearances in the competition. He famously slammed four past Real Madrid during former club Borussia Dortmund's run to the final in 2012/13, only to come up short against Bayern at Wembley Stadium. Seven years on, Ol' Big Ears is one of the few club trophies he hasn't got his hands on, but the Pole has started 2019/20 with a goal-fuelled bang and remains one of the most feared strikers in Europe, if not the most complete.

Aims in the competition

The same as every year: to win it!

Watch: What makes Robert Lewandowski so effective

Tottenham Hotspur

Dates Bayern play them

Tuesday 1 October: Spurs vs. Bayern (Matchday 2)
Wednesday 11 December: Bayern vs. Spurs (Matchday 6)

How they got there

Mauricio Pochettino's side booked their place in the group stage thanks to a fourth-placed finish in the English Premier League last season.

Key player

He might look like a mild-mannered 1950's movie star, but make no mistake: Harry Kane is as cold-blooded as they come in front of goal.

Borussia Dortmund found that out first hand in the last 16 in 2018/19 when, despite dominating at the Signal Iduna Park and creating a handful of chances, they lost 1-0 to a clinical Kane finish. "Tottenham waited because they knew that if Harry gets a chance, he's going to score," said Roman Bürki afterwards. "He's a beast."

Kane and Jerome Boateng could renew acquaintances after jostling in the 2019 Audi Cup over the summer. - 2019 Getty Images

Bayern’s path to victory

Tottenham have had difficulties at full-back this season. Kieran Trippier was allowed to join Atletico Madrid over the summer, Kyle Walker-Peters and Ryan Sessegnon have been injured and are unlikely to be at full fitness for the teams' first meeting, while Serge Aurier is still out.

As a result, Moussa Sissoko - ordinarily a midfielder - played at right wing-back in Spurs' most recent game against Arsenal. The prospect, therefore, of Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry running at a less-than-fully-fit or makeshift full-back on the wings looks to be a tantalising one.

Familiar faces 

Tottenham forward Heung-Min Son is a name well known to Bundesliga followers. The 27-year-old made his breakthrough in the game at Hamburg between 2010 and 2013, when he earned a transfer to Bayer Leverkusen. The South Korean scored 21 goals in 62 outings for Die Werkself before moving to London in 2015.

Heung-Min Son has become one of the most feared attackers in the Premier League following his switch from Bayer Leverkusen. - imago/Moritz M¸ller


Dates Bayern play them

Tuesday 22 October: Olympiacos vs. Bayern (Matchday 3)
Wednesday 6 November: Bayern vs. Olympiacos (Matchday 4)

How they got there

Olympiacos finished second in the Greek Superleague in 2018/19, giving them a ticket to the Champions League second qualifying phase as one of four seeded teams.

After overcoming Czech side Viktoria Plzen 4-0 on aggregate, they then defeated Turkish outfit Basaksehir 3-0 aggregate in the third qualifying round to seal a place in the play-offs. A 6-1 aggregate triumph over Krasnodar rubberstamped their ticket to the group stage proper.

Key player

Portuguese defender Ruben Semedo is the glue that holds the Greek side's backline together, marshalling his team-mates' positioning and cajoling them into action. A powerfully built centre-back, he might be their best chance of minimising the threat posed by the goal-scoring machine that is Lewandowski.

A force to be reckoned with at both ends of the pitch: Olympiacos defender Ruben Semedo. - imago images / ANE Edition

Bayern’s path to victory

Olympiacos are unbeaten in all competitions since February 2019 and have a well-drilled defence that only conceded 17 league goals last season, but realistically it should be them worrying about Bayern.

Pound-for-pound, the Bundesliga champions have a superior squad, and should more than exploit the gaps Krasnodar managed to wangle in the play-offs.

Familiar faces

Attacking midfielder Konstantinos Fortounis was on Kaiserslautern's books for three years between 2011 and 2014, making 28 Bundesliga appearances in the 2011/12 campaign - including two against Bayern (both ended in defeat). Meanwhile, defender Omar Elabdellaoui laced his boots for Eintracht Braunschweig in 2013/14, scoring once in 29 Bundesliga outings.

Chasing shadows is something Konstantinos Fortounis (l.) got used to pretty quickly in previous meetings with David Alaba (r.) and Co. - 2012 Getty Images

Red Star Belgrade

Dates Bayern play them

Wednesday 18 September: Bayern vs. Red Star (Matchday 1)
Tuesday 26 November: Red Star  vs. Bayern (Matchday 5)

How they got there

Red Star won the Serbian Super Liga by a nine-point margin in 2018/19, thereby guaranteeing themselves a berth in the Champions League first qualifying phase in mid-July.

They progressed through the preliminary rounds by beating FK Sudova (Lithuania), HJK (Finland), FC Copenhagen (Denmark) and, most impressively, Swiss champions Young Boys in the play-offs to take their place in pot 4 in the draw for the group stage.

Key player

El Fardou Ben Nabouhane is a bit of a handful up front. The left-footed attacker is quick, agile, never stops moving and knows where the goal is. He is the team's designated penalty taker, was the club's top scorer with 13 goals last season and has carried on where he left off this term, netting twice in his first two games of the campaign.

Former Bundesliga player Marko Marin (c.) and El Fardou Ben Nabouhane (r.) are two of Red Star's biggest assets. - 2019 Getty Images

Bayern’s path to victory

Like Olympiacos, Red Star didn't concede many goals in league competition last term (16 in 30 games). Statistically speaking, however, they were at their most vulnerable around the 21-minute mark, roughly when Lewandowski approaches top gear.

The Bayern No.9 has already been on target in the 34th, 22nd and 20th minute of competitive games this season.

Familiar Faces

The name Marko Marin comes as a blast from the past - and yes he is still playing! The 30-year-old attacking midfielder initially made a name for himself as a teenager at Borussia Mönchengladbach between 2006 and 2009 before a successful three-year spell at Werder Bremen. He has played for various clubs in Europe over the last few years and the 16-time Germany international is likely to be highly motivated upon his return to his homeland on Matchday 1.