European giants Bayern Munich and Manchester United face off at the iconic Allianz Arena in their opening Group A clash of the Champions League this Wednesday night.
These two titans, with a combined nine European crowns, share a rich history. However, they haven’t crossed paths in a competitive match for almost a decade, when Bayern triumphed 3-1 in a quarter-final second-leg encounter. The last group-stage encounter dates back to 2001.
Bayern Munich‘s perfect Bundesliga start hit a snag with a thrilling 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen. Harry Kane‘s milestone 300th club goal was canceled out by Alex Grimaldo, and Leon Goretzka’s late strike seemed to secure victory, only for Leverkusen to snatch a dramatic draw with a last-gasp penalty. Head coach Thomas Tuchel is eager to make amends, especially since he has never defeated Man United on home turf in four attempts.
Bayern boasts an impeccable record at home against the Red Devils, with three wins and two draws. They’re strong favorites to top Group A, which also includes Galatasaray and Copenhagen. The German giants are group-stage experts, boasting a record-breaking 34-game unbeaten streak at this stage, making them a formidable force.
On the flip side, Man United is grappling with early-season woes. A disappointing 3-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion left fans frustrated. Manager Erik ten Hag faces an uphill battle, with his team currently in 13th place and nine points adrift of arch-rivals Manchester City. However, Ten Hag insists there’s no crisis and urges his squad to “stick to the plan.”
The Red Devils’ history against Bayern is mixed, with just one win in their last eight Champions League meetings. Yet, fans will forever cherish the memorable 1999 final triumph under Sir Alex Ferguson, one of their rare victories against the Bundesliga powerhouse in this prestigious competition.
Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Ulreich; Mazraoui, Upamecano, Kim, Davies; Laimer, Goretzka; Sane, Musiala, Gnabry; Kane
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Reguilon; Casemiro, Eriksen; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund
Match Prediction: Expect a thrilling encounter with both teams eager to make a statement. Bayern Munich’s home advantage could prove decisive. A 2-1 victory for the German giants seems like a plausible outcome, but with Manchester United’s unpredictability, anything can happen on that hallowed turf.