Bayern Munich v Tottenham: Spurs to face Bayern backlash
Bayern have won all five of their group games, and Kevin Hatchard thinks they'll maintain their 100% record against a weakened Spurs...
Bayern Munich v Tottenham Hotspur Wednesday December 11, 20:05 Live on BT Sport
Bayern finding solace in UCL run
If ever an expression encapsulated the frustration Bayern Munich are feeling right now, it was the look of disgust and barely restrained fury on the face of Joshua Kimmich, as teammate Javi Martinez cleaned out Borussia Monchengladbach dangerman Marcus Thuram with a brainless challenge in the box at the end of their game on Saturday. Ramy Bensebaini smashed in the resultant penalty to record his second goal of the game and give the Bundesliga leaders a seven-point advantage over the record champions.
Having won their first four games under interim coach Hansi Flick with an aggregate score of 16-0, Bayern have lost their last two league matches, despite being arguably the better side in both (they had 40 shots across the two games.) Their hopes of winning an eighth straight Bundesliga title have been seriously diminished, although they are still trading at 1.63to win the Meisterschale.
It's hard to assess the last two games. Bayern's aggressive pressing under Flick has largely worked superbly, but they simply missed a lot of chances that they would usually take. Even the impeccable Robert Lewandowski has fallen short in front of goal, failing to score in his last three Bundesliga matches, having found the net in all of the first 11 matchdays.
The glaring weakness at the moment is in defence - long-term injuries to Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez have forced David Alaba to play out of position, and neither Jerome Boateng nor Martinez look very solid.
Amidst all of this domestic angst, Bayern have been picture-perfect in the Champions League. They have won all five of their group-stage games, including a stunning 7-2 win at White Hart Lane. They have scored an extraordinary 21 goals in those five wins, and have leaked just four.
Corentin Tolisso and Jerome Boateng were both injured during the defeat to Gladbach, but both have been declared fit to start here.
Spurs safe, so risks unlikely
On their way to reaching last season's Champions League final, Tottenham left themselves plenty to do in the group stage, but seven points from their final three matches saw them through to the last 16. This time around, they were in trouble after picking up a solitary point from their first two outings, but three straight wins have booked runners-up spot in the group.
With no tangible reward available from this visit to Bavaria, Spurs have no reason to take any risks. Manager Jose Mourinho has already stated that star striker Harry Kane will play no part at the Allianz Arena. 17-year-old forward Troy Parrott, who made his Premier League debut in the weekend's 5-0 win over Burnley, could start. Summer signing Ryan Sessegnon and defender Kyle Walker-Peters could also be included in the eleven, while Giovanni Lo Celso may get a rare chance to shine from the outset.
Mourinho has stated he needs to get to know the players who haven't really featured so far, as he looks to push Tottenham towards the top four. Spurs are currently six points off the Champions League spots, and are currently trading at 3.15 in the Top 4 Finish market.
Bayern to bounce back
Bayern are wounded after their recent defeats, and need to send a signal. They actually played superbly for the first 55 minutes at Borussia Park on Saturday, and missed a boatload of chances in the previous weekend's defeat at home to Bayer Leverkusen.
Against a Spurs team that has motivation to impress, but will be nowhere near full-strength, I think Bayern can win by a couple of goals. I'll back the hosts -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at 1.95.
Gnabry to haunt Spurs again
Serge Gnabry smacked in four goals at White Hart Lane, and wasn't involved at the weekend as a precaution, so he should be fully fit. Lewandowski is almost unbackable at 1.45 - he has 31 goals this season for club and country - so instead I'll back Gnabry to find the net at 2.30.