Bayern Munich got off to an excellent start in the Champions League with a convincing 2-0 win over Inter Milan at the San Siro on the back end of two relatively disappointing 1-1 draws in the Bundesliga against Borussia Mönchengladbach and Union Berlin.
Pretty much from now until the winter break for the World Cup in Qatar, Julian Nagelsmann will be navigating his way through English Weeks as Bayern pushes across three fronts. Just three days after playing host to VfB Stuttgart at the Allianz Arena, they welcome Barcelona in the Champions League, an opponent they beat twice during the group stages last year.
Obviously, the sub-plot on the forefront of everyone’s mind for Barcelona’s visit to the Allianz Arena will be the return of Robert Lewandowski to his former club. However, as Thomas Müller recently stated, that’s not the only reason Bayern is relishing the opportunity to beat the Catalan giants for the fourth time in just two and a half seasons. They beat them twice 3-0 in the group stages last season and who could forget the famous 8-2 in Lisbon for the 2019/20, one-off quarter final?
“We’re really looking forward to the game - not just because of Robert, but also because it’s always great to play against Barcelona. Especially after the way both teams have started, it’s of course a top game in our group,” Müller recently told Bild (via @iMiaSanMia). Of course, the Raumdeuter is no stranger to facing Barcelona in European competition, having already played against them seven times. Thankfully for Bayern’s sake, Müller’s record against the Catalans bodes quite well for Bayern, having only lost one of those seven encounters, which came in the first leg of the 2014/15 semifinals.
Ironically enough, that 3-0 loss from 2015 is the only occasion in which Müller did not get some sort of attacking return against Barcelona, whether it be a goal and/or assist. From the past seven matchups, he’s tallied a total of eight goals and two assists, leaving him to be an odds-on favorite to get on the score sheet in at least one of the group stage matchups against them.
In the other maiden match of Group C, Barcelona easily dispatched of Viktoria Plzen, beating them by a score of 5-1. Lewandowski scored a hat-trick, while Franck Kessie and Ferran Torres scored the other two goals, but the score line at the Camp Nou came as no surprise and they’ll face a much more difficult test in Munich.