After a slightly disappointing draw in their group opener, Tottenham Hotspur’s next Champions League fixture is a tough one at home to German champions Bayern Munich on Tuesday (3pm ET).
Spurs have generally made a pretty underwhelming start to the season. They had won just two of their eight matches in all competitions prior to Saturday’s 2-1 win over Southampton, achieved despite playing for a hour with 10 men following the dismissal of Serge Aurier.
Tottenham began their Champions League campaign with a 2-2 draw away to Olympiakos who are, on paper, the third-best team in a group that also features Red Star Belgrade. They led 2-0 after 30 minutes thanks to goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura, but a couple of strikes either side of half-time allowed the home team to come back and secure a deserved point.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side made it all the way through to the final of last season’s competition before losing out to Liverpool. They strengthened over the summer with the arrivals of Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele. Their inability to move on some players who wanted out seems to be having an adverse effect on team chemistry. They have been surprisingly disjointed so far this season and Pochettino has often cut a frustrated figure.
They still have enough firepower to concern most teams and the problems at other top-four contenders in the Premier League are likely to afford them a bit of time to feel their way into the campaign and improve as they go. They might just find Bayern Munich too tough an opponent at this stage, despite good results against German opposition in recent years.
Spurs won home and away to Borussia Dortmund in last season’s round-of-16 and previously in a pair of group-stage encounters in 2017. Bayern defeated Arsenal in the round-of-16 in 2016-17, but fell to a 1-3 aggregate loss to Liverpool at that stage last season.
It was the first time since 2011 that Bayern had failed to go further than the last 16. They have been one of the most consistent Champions League teams of the last decade, winning the competition once, reaching two more finals and making it through to at least the final four in seven of the 10 years. In that context, last season could only be viewed as a disappointment.
Domestically, Bayern overcame a strong challenge from Dortmund to claim their seventh consecutive Bundesliga title but did so with their lowest points total since 2011-12. It felt like their squad was in need of a degree of reshaping and that is what happened over the summer.
Bayern freshened up their defence by signing Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez for a combined €115 million and allowing Mat Hummels to rejoin Dortmund, definitively moving on from ageing wingers Arjen Robben (retired) and Franck Ribery (now of Fiorentina). They then conducted a late-window supermarket sweep of the loan market to bring in forward Ivan Perisic and the quality of ex-Liverpool attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
Niko Kovac’s team have made a very solid start to the Bundesliga season, winning four and drawing two to lead the table after six rounds, with an average of over three goals scored per match. Robert Lewandowski has already scored 10 times, while Coutinho provided a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-2 win away to Paderborn. Bayern also began their Champions League campaign in winning style with a 3-0 home triumph over Red Star Belgrade.
It is necessary to go back to the mid-1980s to find the last time Spurs and Bayern met in European competition. Bayern won on aggregate in the second round of the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1982 but it was Spurs who triumphed when they met in the third round of the UEFA Cup the following year.
Our Betting Preview’s Spurs vs Bayern Munich Predictions & Picks Verdict
There is again unlikely to be much between the teams on Tuesday but it is Bayern who look the most likely victors. They are simply playing better than Spurs at this early stage of the season. The German team have a degree of attacking potency that Spurs, who have kept just one clean sheet in eight league and Champions League matches, will struggle to contain.