Two heavy defeats have left Crvena zvezda needing to beat a Bayern München side who can secure first place in Group B.
Article top media content
Bayern München will be looking to continue their impressive UEFA Champions League form by wrapping up first place in Group B away to Crvena zvezda, who are still harbouring slim qualification hopes of their own.
• While Bayern have breezed through the section with maximum points, securing their place in the round of 16 on Matchday 4, Crvena zvezda's prospects suffered a serious setback with two heavy defeats against Tottenham. That has left the Serbian champions third on three points, four behind Spurs, meaning they will be unable to finish in the top two if they do not beat Bayern or if Spurs beat Olympiacos in the other Matchday 5 fixture. Crvena zvezda will be confirmed in third place if they win and Olympiacos do not beat Spurs.
• Bayern, meanwhile, are five points clear in the section, which they kicked off with a 3-0 home win against Crvena zvezda, Kingsley Coman opening the scoring before late goals from Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller clinched the points. They will make sure of top spot if they win in Belgrade, or if Spurs fail to beat Olympiacos.
• This is the teams' seventh meeting; their last before this season had come in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage when Bayern won in Belgrade, the Munich club twice coming from behind before a Toni Kroos winner four minutes into added time.
• Their most famous fixtures came in the semi-finals of Crvena zvezda's 1990/91 European Cup triumph, the club from what was then Yugoslavia coming from behind to win 2-1 in the Munich first leg thanks to goals from Darko Pančev and Dejan Savićević and holding on in a pulsating second leg in Belgrade to snatch a 2-2 draw – and 4-3 aggregate victory – thanks to a 90th-minute own goal from Bayern's Klaus Augenthaler.
• The 1979/80 UEFA Cup third round tie between the teams had been equally closely fought, Bayern winning 2-0 in the Munich first leg and going through 4-3 overall after rallying from 3-0 down in Belgrade, two Dieter Hoeness goals in four second-half minutes proving crucial.
• After conceding twice late on at Bayern, Crvena zvezda were facing another defeat when Olympiacos led 1-0 at half-time in Belgrade on Matchday 2, but second-half strikes from Miloš Vulić, Nemanja Milunović and Richmond Boakye secured a 3-1 win. However, a reality check followed as Tottenham inflicted a 5-0 away defeat on the Serbian side on Matchday 3 to equal Crvena zvezda's biggest loss in Europe; a 4-0 reverse in the return fixture two weeks later represented their heaviest home defeat in UEFA competition.
• In 2018/19 the Belgrade club reached the group stage from the first qualifying round and went on to finish fourth in their group, although they did claim a first UEFA Champions League group stage win for Serbia with a 2-0 home defeat of eventual champions Liverpool on Matchday 4, Milan Pavkov scoring both goals. They also held Napoli 0-0 at home on their Matchday 1 debut, although their last home fixture in the section was a 4-1 loss against Paris.
• This season, Vladan Milojević's side again started their European campaign in the first qualifying round, where they were 2-1 aggregate winners against Sūduva of Lithuania (0-0 a, 2-1 h). They subsequently came through tight ties against HJK Helsinki (2-0 h, 1-2 a) and Copenhagen (1-1 h, 1-1 a, 7-6 pens) before beating Young Boys on away goals in the play-offs (2-2 a, 1-1 h).
• Crvena zvezda have won only four of their last 20 European fixtures (D8 L8) although they have now lost ony two of their last 15 UEFA matches in Belgrade (W7 D6) and only three of the last 22 (W11 D8).
• Crvena zvezda's last home game against a German club was a 1-0 defeat of Köln in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage; that 2007 defeat by Bayern is their only loss in their last 12 games against Bundesliga clubs in Belgrade (W8 D3).
• European champions in 1991, Crvena zvezda claimed their second successive Serbian league title in 2018/19 and a 30th national championship overall.
• Bayern made it four wins from four, and secured progress to the knockout stages, with a 2-0 defeat of Olympiacos in Munich last time out; they had beaten the same opponents 3-2 in Greece.
• Bayern scored seven goals in a UEFA Champions League match for a record fifth time on Matchday 2, Serge Gnabry becoming the 14th player to score four times in a match in the competition in a 7-2 success at Tottenham, and the first to hit four in the second half. It was the 19th time Bayern had scored five or more goals in a UEFA Champions League match, level with Barcelona as a competition record.
• Bayern and Paris Saint-Germain (Group A) are the only sides with maximum points after four matches. The German champions are also the competition's top-scoring team with 15 goals, two more than group rivals Tottenham.
• This is Bayern's 23rd UEFA Champions League group campaign, fewer only than Barcelona and Real Madrid (both 24). They have won their section 15 times, although their first-place finish in 2018/19 was their first since 2015/16.
• Twelve months ago Bayern picked up seven points away, and 14 overall, to finish first in Group E ahead of Ajax, Benfica and AEK Athens. They drew 0-0 at Liverpool in the first leg of their round of 16 tie, but bowed out after going down 3-1 in the home return.
• Champions of Germany for a record 29th time last season – with a landmark seventh successive Bundesliga title – Bayern had reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals or better in seven successive campaigns before losing to Liverpool.
• Bayern are unbeaten in their last 11 European away games (W8 D3), scoring at least two goals in all but the goalless draw at Liverpool last season. Before winning at Benfica the Munich club had not kept a clean sheet on their UEFA Champions League travels in 14 matches; they have now managed three in the last six.
• That defeat at Crvena zvezda in December 1979 is Bayern's only loss away to a Serbian club (W2 D2), with their 2007 UEFA Cup success against the same opponents their most recent visit. Home and away, they have now won their last four games against Serbian sides, scoring three goals in each of them.
Links and trivia
• Current assistant coach Nenad Milijaš scored Crvena zvezda's second goal in that 3-2 home defeat by Bayern in 2007.
• International team-mates:
Milan Borjan & Alphonso Davies (Canada)
• Have played in Germany:
Marko Marin (Eintracht Frankfurt youth 1996–2005, Borussia Mönchengladbach 2005–09, Werder Bremen 2009–12)
Miloš Degenek (Stuttgart 2012–15, 1860 München 2015–17)
• Have played together:
Marko Marin & Manuel Neuer (Germany 2009–10)
Marko Marin & Thomas Müller (Germany 2010)
• Crvena zvezda have won 14 of their 16 league matches this season; their seven-match winning run was ended by a 1-1 draw at Javor on 10 November. They were 2-0 victors at Radnicki Niš on Saturday.
• Their 11-match winning run in the Serbian Super League, including the first six this season, was ended by a 2-0 loss at Partizan in the Belgrade derby on 22 September. Crvena zvezda had suffered only one defeat in their previous 69 league outings, a 3-2 loss at Čukarički on 20 April this year. Their record otherwise was W62 D6 before the loss at Partizan.
• Crvena zvezda have scored two or more goals in 13 of their 16 league matches in 2019/20.
• Crvena zvezda have scored 31 goals in their last ten domestic games.
• 'Red Star' were 8-0 winners away to fourth division Trepča in the Serbian Cup first round on 10 October, Veljko Simić scoring four times – more than in his previous 26 appearances for the club combined.
• Richmond Boakye scored the only goal as Crvena zvezda were 1-0 winners at home to Mačva in the last 16 of the Serbian Cup on 20 November.
• Milan Pavkov has not played since suffering a hamstring injury against Tottenham on Matchday 4.
• Aleksa Vukanović has recovered from a muscle injury that caused him to miss the match against Tottenham on Matchday 4. He scored the second goal against Radnički Niš at the weekend.
• Matchday 4 marked Vladan Milojević's 41st European match in charge of Crvena zvezda, extending his own Serbian record.
• Bayern, who had Jérôme Boateng sent off after nine minutes, were beaten 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt on 2 November, their heaviest defeat since a 4-0 loss at home to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg on 29 April 2014. They last conceded five goals in a match against Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup final on 12 May 2012 (2-5).
• The following day Bayern parted company with coach Niko Kovač after 16 months in charge; Hans-Dieter Flick took over and guided the team to three victories. After the win against Olympiacos Bayern prevailed 4-0 against Dortmund on 9 November.
• Bayern were also 4-0 winners on Saturday, away to Fortuna Düsseldorf. Benjamin Pavard opened the scoring with his third league goal of the season, more than he managed in the first five seasons of his career combined, with Corentin Tolisso scoring his first Bundesliga goal since 15 September 2018, Serge Gnabry finding the net for the second successive league game and Philippe Coutinho reigstering for Bayern for the first time since 28 September.
• Robert Lewandowski scored twice against his former club and has 16 goals in 12 games in this season's Bundesliga. He now has 218 league goals for Dortmund and Bayern combined, the fourth highest Bundesliga total of all time and only two behind third-placed Jupp Heynckes.
• Lewandowski, whose goal against Crvena zvezda on Matchday 1 was his 200th competitive strike for Bayern, set a new Bundesliga record in a 2-1 win against Union Berlin on 26 October by scoring in the first nine Bundesliga matches; he scored in the first 11 league games this season before drawing a blank on Saturday.
• The Polish striker has registered 23 goals in 19 competitive Bayern games this season.
• Lewandowski was also on target for Poland on the last matchday of the European Qualifiers in a 3-2 win against Slovenia on 19 November, his 61st international goal.
• On the same day Gnabry scored a hat-trick in Germany's 6-1 win against Northern Ireland and took his tally to 13 goals in 13 internationals. Leon Goretzka registered twice against Northern Ireland having also scored three days earlier in a 4-0 success against Belarus that secured Germany's place at UEFA EURO 2020.
• On 16 November Ivan Perišić scored in Croatia's 3-1 win against Slovakia and David Alaba was on target in Austria's 2-1 win against North Macedonia, both results clinching their teams' qualification for UEFA EURO 2020.
• Tolisso scored his first goal for France in a 2-0 win in Albania on 17 November.
• On 19 November Perišić scored again in Croatia's 2-1 friendly win against Georgia and Coutinho found the net for Brazil in a 3-0 friendly win against South Korea.
• Kingsley Coman suffered a thigh injury in France's 2-1 win against Moldova on 14 November and missed the game in Albania; he was an unused subsitute for Bayern on Saturday.
• Lucas Hernández suffered an ankle injury on 22 October at Olympiacos. After surgery two days later the defender will be out for the rest of the year.
• Niklas Süle tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on 19 October in a 2-2 draw in Augsburg and underwent surgery the following day.
• Jann-Fiete Arp underwent surgery on his left wrist on 26 September and returned to team training on 12 November, when he suffered a forearm injury that means another spell on the sidelines.
• On 20 November reserve goalkeeper Christian Früchtl extended his contract until 2022.