Bayern Munich travel to Belgian champions Anderlecht on Wednesday knowing their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League is secure, but eager to claim top spot in Group B ahead of Paris Saint-Germain (kick-off 20:45 CET/ 19:45 GMT).
Bayern come into this tie in fine form, with eight wins from eight under Jupp Heynckes. Their most recent 3-0 victory over Augsburg has moved the Bundesliga champions six points clear at the top of the table. Despite currently sitting second in Group B behind Paris Saint-Germain, the Bavarians are already through to the knock-out stage and Heynckes may therefore choose to rotate his team ahead of the clash at his former club Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday. Thiago, Franck Ribery and Kingsley Coman are likely to miss the trip to Brussels altogether, and Jerome Boateng is unlikely to be risked ahead of the weekend. Full-back Joshua Kimmich is set for a rest.
Belgian champions Anderlecht currently sit third domestically after 15 games, and have been climbing the table under new coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck, who took over following the dismissal of Rene Weiler in the wake of the club’s 3-0 defeat to Bayern in the reverse fixture. The Brussels-based club have lost just one of their nine league games since the change in management, but are bottom of Group B without a point or goal to their name so far this season. Robert Lewandowski’s Poland teammate Lukasz Teodorczyk is suspended domestically but available for this European game.
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Anderlecht: Boeckx – Appiah, Kara, Spajic, Obradovic – Chipciu, Kums, Trebel, Dendoncker, Onyekuru – Teodorczyk
Absentees: Najar (hamstring)
Coach: Hein Vanhaezebrouck
Bayern: Ulreich – Rafinha, Süle, Hummels, Bernat – Rudy, Tolisso, Vidal – Robben, Lewandowski, James
Absentees: Neuer (foot), Thiago (knee), Ribery (not match fit), Coman (foot), Wriedt (not in European squad)
Coach: Jupp Heynckes
- Lewandowski has 17 goals in 18 games so far this season.
- Bayern have won six of the 11 previous meetings between these sides.
- The Bavarians won the first of their European Cups in 1974 with a replay victory over Atletico Madrid at Brussels’ Heysel Stadium.
- The German champions were 5-0 victors on their last visit to Anderlecht, with Ribery scoring the final goal.
- However, that is Bayern’s only victory over Belgian opposition in Brussels.
- Anderlecht won six of their last eight league games, but have failed to score in four of their last seven in all competitions.