Bayern Munich: Three things to watch for against Benfica

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in action against Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in action against Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /

The UEFA Champions League is back after a three-week hiatus and Bayern Munich will hit the road to face Benfica on Matchday Three of the group stage. After defeating Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday in a top-of-the-table clash in the Bundesliga, Bayern enters this match in fantastic form.

Wednesday’s match will feature the top two clubs in Group E. A victory would see Bayern move five points clear of Benfica in the table which is an advantage that will be difficult to overcome for the Portuguese club moving forward in the group stage. Here are three things to watch for ahead of the match.

Will the strong defensive records come to an end?

Bayern and Benfica are two of only three clubs that have yet to concede a goal in the group stage of the Champions League this season. Juventus is the only other club that has yet to allow a goal to be scored against them. On Wednesday, these strong defensive records could end for both clubs as they possess strong offensive players as well.

The hosts have talented attacking players such as Darwin Nunez and Roman Yaremchuk while Bayern has the ever-reliable Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. Both Lewandowski and Muller have already scored against Benfica in previous Champions League campaigns. With these players on the pitch, it’s likely this match could feature many goals and bring an end to the shutouts both these clubs have posted through two matchdays.

Bayern look to remain undefeated against Benfica

In eight previous meetings with Benfica, Bayern is undefeated against the Portuguese club. They have taken five wins and three draws from these eight fixtures and have also outscored their opponents 19-5. Their most recent meetings occurred during the 2018/19 Champions League group stage when Bayern won both matches by multiple goals including a 5-1 victory on Matchday Five. (Stats courtesy: UEFA)

Another brace for Lewandowski?

Lewandowski is off to a great start in the group stage campaign with a pair of two-goal performances. With four goals scored in two matches, the Polish striker is among the top scorers in the competition as Ajax’s Sebastien Haller is the only player who has scored more goals. On Wednesday, Lewandowski will be looking for his third consecutive two-goal performance and it could result in him taking over the top goal scorer spot as he trails Haller by just one goal.

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The last time Lewandowski faced Benfica in the Champions League he scored two goals in the aforementioned 5-1 win on Matchday Five of the 2018/19 group stage. After scoring two goals against Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday, the striker has now registered five multi-goal performances for Bayern in all competitions this season. His sixth multi-goal performance will certainly be possible against Benfica on Wednesday.