AEK Athens are looking to get their first Group E points on the board against a Bayern München side with their own concerns.
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Having lost their first two games, AEK Athens are playing catch-up in Group E as they welcome a Bayern München side who have concerns of their own on matchday three.
• The Greek champions are three points adrift at the bottom of the section while Bayern are in second place, level with leaders Ajax on four points, as they look to strengthen their bid for a place in the knockout stage.
• This is the first meeting between the sides, although each have played nine games against clubs from their opponents' country – with Bayern unbeaten in those contests.
• Beaten 3-0 at Ajax in their first fixture, AEK went down 3-2 at home to Benfica on matchday two – ending a seven-match unbeaten run in European competition in Athens.
• The Athens club's previous home European defeat was a 2-0 loss against CSKA in last season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round; their record since had been W2 D5.
• AEK were 14 European games unbeaten (W4 D10), home and away, before the loss at Ajax.
• AEK are in the group stage for the fifth time – and the first since 2006/07. Then they were unbeaten at home, picking up seven points in Athens and beating LOSC Lille and eventual champions AC Milan 1-0.
• All four of the Athens club's previous UEFA Champions League group campaigns have ended at that stage.
• Greek champions for the 12th time in 2017/18 – their first championship success since 1994 – AEK entered this season's UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round, where they defeated Celtic 3-2 on aggregate (1-1 away, 2-1 home) to reach the play-offs. There they overcame Hungarian club Vidi 3-2 over two games (2-1 away, 1-1 home).
• The home win against Celtic ended AEK's run of eight successive draws in European competition.
• Last season AEK lost to CSKA Moskva in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round and moved into the UEFA Europa League, where they were eliminated by Dynamo Kyiv in the round of 32 despite avoiding defeat in all ten of their matches in the competition (W2 D8).
• AEK have won only two of their nine European fixtures against German clubs (D1 L6), both at home. The most recent contest ended in a 2-0 reverse against Alemannia Aachen in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage, a third defeat in their five home matches with German visitors.
• Bayern opened Group E with a 2-0 win at Benfica, but were then held to a 1-1 home draw by Ajax last time out.
• Bayern are unbeaten in their last six away European games (W5 D1); the match at Benfica was their first clean sheet on their UEFA Champions League travels in 15 matches.
• Champions of Germany for a record 28th time last season – with a landmark sixth successive Bundesliga title – Bayern are in the group stage for the 22nd time.
• The Munich club have reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals or better in each of the last seven seasons. They last failed to progress from the initial group section in 2002/03, although they missed out altogether on the UEFA Champions League in 2007/08.
• For the second year in a row Bayern's campaign was ended by Real Madrid in 2017/18, via a 4-3 aggregate semi-final defeat. The 2-2 second-leg draw in Spain ended Bayern's four-game away winning run.
• Bayern have never lost to a Greek club, home or away (W7 D2), and have picked up victories in three of their four trips to Greece – most recently a 3-0 success at Olympiacos in the 2015/16 group stage in which Thomas Müller scored twice.
• The German side have kept clean sheets in their last six matches with Greek opponents, scoring 13 goals across the three most recent contests.
Links and trivia
• Has played in Germany:
Yannis Gianniotas (Fortuna Düsseldorf 2013/14)
• Have played together:
Dmytro Chygrynskiy & Thiago Alcántara (Barcelona 2009/10)
• The matchday one defeat at Ajax was AEK's first loss of the season in all competitions, having been unbeaten in their previous seven fixtures (W5 D2) – they have lost two of their six games since, winning three, including Saturday's 2-0 success at Apollon Smyrnis.
• AEK's 25-match unbeaten run (W20 D5) in the Greek Superleague was ended by a 2-0 loss at PAOK on 23 September – their previous defeat was a 1-0 home reverse against Atromitos on 23 October 2017. They have picked up two wins and a draw since.
• On 12 October, AEK beat Lamia 2-1 in the Greek Cup group stage, a match that marked Lucas Boyé's debut for the club after a hernia problem.
• Alef came on as a half-time substitute at the weekend, his first appearance since sustaining a groin injury in training on 21 September.
• Hélder Lopes tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against OFI Crete on 29 September and is expected to be out until next year.
• Giannis Gianniotas took a blow to his chest against Lamia and was taken to hospital; he has not been able to train fully since, while Marios Oikonomou has not played since sustaining a hamstring injury on matchday two.
• Erik Morán sustained a left ankle sprain against Apollon at the weekend and has been ruled out of the encounter against Bayern.
• A 3-0 home defeat against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 6 October meant Bayern had gone four competitive games without a win – their worst run since April 2017, with that defeat their biggest since a 3-0 loss at Paris Saint-Germain on matchday two of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League – before Saturday's 3-1 success at Wolfsburg.
• Robert Lewandowski won his 100th cap for Poland in a 3-2 home UEFA Nations League defeat against Portugal on 11 October. Three days later Poland suffered relegation following a 1-0 home defeat against Italy.
• Lewandowski scored eight goals in his first seven appearances for Bayern this season, but was without a goal in five games for club and country before scoring twice on Saturday.
• James Rodríguez scored in Colombia's 4-2 friendly win against the United States on 11 October and also got Bayern's third goal at Wolfsburg, his fourth in his last five Bundesliga appearances.
• Arjen Robben was sent off early in the second half at Wolfsburg, his fifth career red card and first since April 2011.
• Leon Goretzka missed both Germany's recent internationals due to thigh problems but returned as a second-half substitute at the weekend. Jérôme Boateng sat out Germany's game in France with a calf injury and was an unused replacement at Woflsburg.
• David Alaba suffered a hamstring injury against Gladbach, and was withdrawn at half-time on Saturday.
• Corentin Tolisso, part of the victorious France squad at this summer's FIFA World Cup, suffered torn cruciate ligaments in his right knee in the 3-1 win against Bayer Leverkusen on 15 September and will be absent for several months.
• Rafinha also picked up an injury against Leverkusen, suffering a partial ligament tear in his left ankle, and made his comeback as Alaba's half-time replacement on Saturday.
• Kingsley Coman suffered an ankle injury in a 3-1 win against Hoffenheim on 24 August, the first day of the Bundesliga season, and will be out for around three months after surgery.
• Niko Kovač claimed silverware in his first competitive game as Bayern coach with a 5-0 defeat of his former club Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Super Cup on 12 August – the third year in a row the Munich club have won the competition following three successive defeats.