Preview: Benfica v FC Bayern Munchen

Two past winners of the UEFA Champions League will go head to head in a mouthwatering Wednesday night clash as Benfica host FC Bayern Munchen at Estadio do SL Benfica.

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UEFA Champions League
19 September 2018
Matchday 1
Kick-off: 20h00 local time/03H00 HKT (20 September)
Venue: Estadio do SL Benfica

Referee: A. Lahoz
Assistant Referees: P. Devis, R. del Palomar
Fourth official: T. Magan

Head-to-head summary:


Bayern 6 3 3 0
Benfica 6 0 3 3

Previous encounter:

Benfica 2-2 Bayern Munich (13/04/2016) UEFA Champions League

Benfica goalscorers: R. Jimenez (27′), Talisca (76′)
Bayern goalscorers: A. Vidal (38′), T. Muller (52′)

Players to watch:

Robert Lewandowski will be the danger man for Bayern, having netted twice in three Bundesliga matches. In addition, he scored a hat-trick in their German Super Cup victory over Eintracht Frankfurt and a goal in the DFB-Pokal victory over SV Drochtersen/Assel.

At the other end, Pizzi is the in-form attacker for Benfica and has scored four times already in four league matches. The Bayern defence will have to be wary of the versatile midfielder.

Team form and manager quotes:

Bayern has got their Bundesliga campaign off to a perfect start, with three wins from three matches. However, they have been hit by an injury crisis, with several key players out of action or nursing knocks.

“It’s a shame, it’s sad, it’s affected all of us a lot. Unfortunately, injuries are part of professional football,” said Bayern coach Niko Kovac.

His opposite number, Rui Vitoria, has got Benfica’s league campaign off to a good start, with three wins and a draw, putting them top of the table.

Team news:

Corentin Tolisso and Rafinha are out for Bayern, having picked up long-term injuries, while Franck Ribery set out Monday’s training session with an upset stomach. Arjen Robben, meanwhile, trained alone in Bayern’s fitness centre.

There have also been doubts over the fitness of Leon Goretzka, who reportedly suffered an injury in training, but the Bavarian giants have included him in their squad alongside Ribery and Robben. The latest indications are that the trio will be fit to play.

Nevertheless, Benfica will be looking to take advantage of Bayern’s injury woes.