Spurs, Bayern in juicy clash

TOTTENHAM Hotspur will face Bayern Munich for the first time in the Champions League tonight as the German giants make the trip to the English capital.

Indeed, these two teams have not locked horns since the third round of the UEFA Cup in 1983. Bayern currently lead Group B with three points – two points clear of second-placed Tottenham after one matchday.

Saturday’s 2-1 win over Southampton was potentially a season-defining moment for Spurs. Indeed, with Serge Aurier sent off in the 31st minute and Danny Ings levelling the scores shortly after, it would have been easy for the capital outfit to go under amid a tough run of form.

Harry Kane’s 43rd-minute goal was decisive, though, and Spurs climbed into fourth position in the Premier League table with a huge three points when considering the context of the match.

Tottenham’s 2-1 loss at Leicester City in the Premier League last weekend was followed by a shock defeat to League Two Colchester United in the EFL Cup. Another poor result on Saturday would have piled the pressure on head coach Mauricio Pochettino, but the hosts triumphed to record their first three points since September 14.

Spurs opened their Champions League Group B campaign with a 2-2 draw at Olympiacos on September 18. Last season’s finalists led 2-0 inside 30 minutes before the home side hit back to claim a share of the spoils.

As a result, there is pressure on the capital outfit to pick up three points against Bayern, who could seriously take charge of the section with a win on Tuesday night. These are the type of games that Tottenham dreamt of for many years, but the Bundesliga champions will travel full of purpose.

There is no question that all is not well with Pochettino, and it will be very interesting to see how the story plays out over the next few months. Spurs face a tough trip to Brighton & Hove Albion in the league next weekend, while they will visit Liverpool before the end of next month.

The likes of Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen perhaps no longer want to be at the club, but Champions League nights are always special, particularly with the club facing Bayern for the first time in more than 35 years.

Tottenham have won eight of their last 11 Champions League home matches, while they have been victorious in each of their four games versus German clubs home and away – all against Borussia Dortmund. The capital giants lost five times in last season’s competition despite reaching the final, though, and face a tough task against Niko Kovac’s team.

Like Tottenham, Bayern will enter this match off the back of a league win at the weekend, but it was far from convincing from the German champions as they were given a scare by basement side Paderborn. A 3-2 victory saw them move to the top of the table, but it was a poor defensive performance.

Kovac’s side are now unbeaten in their eight matches since the German Super Cup, though, and have certainly not struggled for goals during that run – hitting three in four separate matches, in addition to a four and a six.

Bayern’s Group B opener also brought a fairly comfortable three points as Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller scored in a 3-0 home win. As a result, another victory for the German giants on tonight would place them in a strong position at the top of the section. – SportsMole

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