Matchday 2 Previews : Important Night for Tottenham and Liverpool
- Various venues around Europe
- Tuesday 1 October and Wednesday 2 October
- Live on BT Sport
Matchday 1 didn't produce the best set of results for English teams. Only Manchester City won their opening Champions League game, while Tottenham drew at Olympiakos. It was bad news for Liverpool and Chelsea who both lost, so this preview looks at the two teams that made last season's final and wonders if the two teams who contested last season's final can get their first wins of the 2019/20 Champions League season.
Tottenham v Bayern Munich (Tuesday 1 October: 8pm KO)
Tottenham had a 2-0 lead at Olympiakos in their opening Champions League game. However, as was the case at Arsenal in England's top league, Spurs couldn't hold onto the lead and ended up with a 2-2 draw. They haven't quite been firing on all cylinders this season and there have been rumblings of discontent that most definitely aren't needed at any time.
Spurs are sixth in the Premier League but already ten points behind league leaders Liverpool. They look set for another season where they fight hard to finish in the top four of the Premier League. A good cup run would be handy too but not in the Carabao Cup after their exit at the hands of League Two Colchester United last week. Colchester last week, Bayern Munich this week but at least they will be fielding a stronger side.
Only earning a point from their first game in this group wasn't a disaster. They will be confident of beating Olympiakos at home and Red Star Belgrade too. That should help them get through to the knock-out stages and as witnessed last season, anything can happen when the two-legged ties begin. Spurs won't want to lose to Bayern as that would put them five points behind the German champions and a trip to Munich to come. Qualfication is the main aim though.
Bayern Munich often promise a lot but don't always deliver. They continually win the German Bundesliga but haven't been too successful in the Champions League of late. Last season saw them hold Liverpool to a draw in the last sixteen but then lose 3-1 at home. They come into this game top of the table in Germany. Most of the season has been spent chasing RB Leipzig but the weekend saw the league leaders lose and Munich win, taking them to the summit.
Bayern have gone nine away games in this competition without defeat. That includes visits to Ajax, Liverpool, Benfica, Real Madrid and Celtic. Up against a Tottenham side that makes far too many mistakes and struggles to keep clean sheets, they can get a valuable away win in this match.
Liverpool v Red Bull Salzburg (Wednesday 2 October: 8pm KO)
It's not a crisis yet but if Liverpool weren't to win this game, then they could be in for a hard fight to get out of this group, let alone successfully defend their European crown. Just as happened last season, Liverpool went to Napoli in the Champions League and lost. Meanwhile, Red Bull Salzburg were busy demolishing Genk 6-2 at home to go top of this group.
Liverpool therefore start this game in third place, three points behind the top two. A home win is the most likely result from this game. Liverpool have turned Anfield into a fortress and not lost in the Champions League at home since 2014. Last season, they didn't just have a string of home wins in the Champions League but kept five clean sheets in a row. Not a bad list of teams they shut out either. None of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Napoli, Porto or Red Star Belgrade put a goal past them.
Red Bull Salzburg reached the last sixteen of the Europa League last season, losing to Napoli. Before they get the chance to have revenge against them, Red Bull head to Anfield. They have those three points in the bag and must at least fancy some Thursday night football later in the season. A win or draw in Liverpool though might have them believing they can qualify for the knock-out stages of this competition.
They are top of the Austrian Bundesliga with eight wins and a draw from their first nine league games. 40 goals have already been scored with 15 in four away league games. Throw in six in their opening Champions League game and they are already closing in on a half-century of goals. Red Bull are on a good run of form in away games in this competition. They have gone seven without defeat which is welcome after a run of nine without a win between 2009 and 2015.
Those good results have come in qualifying rounds, so just how they get on against Liverpool and Napoli compared to Rijeka and Liepaja remains to be seen. Liverpool away is one of the toughest fixtures in football at present. The Premier League winners can be backed to win this game and kick start their Champions League campaign.
- Liverpool have kept five straight home sheets in the Champions League.
- Liverpool have won nine of their last 11 Champions League home games.
- Red Bull Salzburg are unbeaten in their last seven away games in the Champions League.
- Bayern Munich have gone nine away Champions League games without defeat.
- Tottenham have only one win in their last five Champions League matches.
- Three of the last seven Tottenham home games in this competition have been lost.