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Bayern pose problem for Sporting

Published: Friday 29 September 2006, 21.45CET
Sporting Clube de Portugal have a tricky task on their hands against an FC Bayern München side who have yet again begun the competition in fine style.

Tournament statistics


Goals scored3
Attempts on target26
Attempts off target47
Fouls committed112
Yellow cards13
Red cards0
Published: Friday 29 September 2006, 21.45CET

Bayern pose problem for Sporting

Sporting Clube de Portugal have a tricky task on their hands against an FC Bayern München side who have yet again begun the competition in fine style.

It is not difficult to admire the way FC Bayern München start each UEFA Champions League campaign. For the third successive year they have begun with two wins and the task of stopping their 100 per cent sequence on Matchday 3 falls to Sporting Clube de Portugal. A home win would see Sporting assume the leadership of Group B, with the other two teams, FC Internazionale Milano and FC Spartak Moskva, meeting in Italy.

• Sporting can be pleased with their own start, the Portuguese Liga runners-up immediately putting three points on the board with an impressive home victory over the Nerazzurri after defender Marco Caneira's stunning second-half volley capped a stirring performance.

• Paulo Bento's team, back in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in six years, then went to the Luzhniki Stadium and came away with a 1-1 draw after Nani's second-half equaliser dashed Spartak's hopes. It was the first time a match in the competition had been played on a synthetic pitch and Sporting did not let Denis Boyarintsev's early goal affect them as they battled back.

First meeting
• It is the first time Sporting and Bayern have met in UEFA club competition and the records suggest the hosts can expect a difficult evening at the Estádio José Alvalade. They have never beaten German opposition in 12 games, with eight defeats and four draws. There have been three previous visits by German clubs to face Sporting in Lisbon in the European Champion Clubs Cup and only the 0-0 draw with Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League group stage prevents a clean sweep of home defeats.

• On 27 September Bayern scored twice late on to record their first victory against Italian opposition in eight years. Claudio Pizarro's 81st-minute opener and Lukas Podolski's goal in added time ensured the German champions the outright lead at the top of the section with maximum points.

Strong defence
• The win against Spartak on Matchday 1 at the Fußball Arena München came via four second-half goals. Again, Pizarro set the ball rolling, with Roque Santa Cruz making it 2-0. Bastian Schweinsteiger then sidefooted in with 19 minutes remaining before substitute Hasan Salihamidžić capped an emphatic victory. So for the third season running Bayern emerged from the opening two fixtures without a goal conceded.

Good record
• The Munich club have never lost in Portugal, their record showing two wins and five draws in seven visits in UEFA club competition. In home-and-away combat they have always come out on top in aggregate terms with their superiority being made to count back on home soil, with 23 goals scored in seven games. The fixture Bayern will not want to recall was the 1986/87 European Cup final when they lost 2-1 to FC Porto in Vienna's Ernst Happel stadium.

Last updated: 11/10/06 18.39CET

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