Having lost all six games in their 2017/18 group, Benfica will be looking for a positive start at home to Bayern.
Article top media content
Bayern München have history on their side as they kick off their Group E campaign away to Benfica, who are hoping to put a tough 2017/18 UEFA Champions League campaign behind them.
• The German club are unbeaten in eight previous matches against their Portuguese opponents, and their recent prowess in this competition points to another testing evening for the home side – although strong form in qualifying this season should give Benfica cause for confidence.
• The teams have met in four previous two-legged ties – and Bayern have won all of them, including the quarter-final of their victorious 1975/76 European Champion Clubs' Cup campaign and the second round of the 1981/82 competition. In both instances a goalless first leg in Lisbon was followed by a big Bayern win in Munich.
• Jürgen Klinsmann was the standout performer in the clubs' 1995/96 UEFA Cup third round tie. The striker scored all four goals in Bayern's 4-1 home first-leg victory, then added two more in a 3-1 Lisbon success. Bayern went on to beat Bordeaux in the final, Klinsmann finishing with a competition-record 15 goals for the season.
• Most recently, Bayern were 3-2 aggregate victors in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League round of 16, a 1-0 win in Munich preceding a 2-2 draw in Portugal, Thomas Müller scoring the decisive second goal.
• Portuguese Liga runners-up in 2017/18, Benfica are in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 14th time – and the ninth season in a row.
• The Lisbon giants have reached seven European Cup finals, winning the trophy in 1961 and 1962.
• Benfica kicked off this season in the third qualifying round with a 2-1 aggregate win against Fenerbahçe (1-0 home, 1-1 away). The first leg ended a run of seven successive European defeats – the Eagles failing to score in six of those, including the last five. PAOK were then defeated 5-2 over two legs in the play-offs (1-1 home, 4-1 away).
• Nevertheless, the Eagles have still won only three of their last 14 continental fixtures (D3 L8).
• Benfica finished bottom of their section in 2017/18, losing all six games – the 20th time a club has gone through a UEFA Champions League group stage without picking up a point.
• Benfica are unbeaten in five home matches against German opposition, most recently beating Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg, although they lost the return 4-0. The last Bundesliga side to beat them in Lisbon were Schalke, 2-1 group stage victors in December 2010.
• Their overall home record against German clubs is W11 D8 L2.
• Champions of Germany for a record 28th time last season – with a record 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.
• Bayern are unbeaten in their last five away European games; the 2-2 second-leg draw at Real Madrid ended a four-match winning streak on the road. They have not kept a clean sheet on their UEFA Champions League travels, however, in 14 matches.
• Bayern have suffered only two defeats by Portuguese clubs, both against Porto. In the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, they went down 3-1 in the first game in Portugal, but turned the tie round spectacularly with a 6-1 second-leg success in Munich. They also lost to Porto in the 1987 European Cup final, 2-1 in Vienna.
Links and trivia
• Renato Sanches made 24 Portuguese Liga appearances for Benfica in 2015/16, his sole season in the first team before a move to Bayern.
• James Rodríguez scored 25 goals in 65 league appearances for Porto between 2010 and 2013, including a penalty in a 3-1 defeat of a Vitória SC side then coach by current Porto boss Rui Vitória in January 2012.
• Luisão scored past Manuel Neuer, then of Schalke, in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage while Eduardo Salvio beat Stuttgart's Sven Ulreich in a 2-0 Benfica triumph in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg.
• Have played in Germany:
Odisseas Vlachodimos (Stuttgart, 2011–16)
Haris Seferović (Eintracht Frankfurt, 2014–17)
• Seferović was coached by Niko Kovač at Eintracht between 2015 and 2017.
• Vlachodimos' Stuttgart team-mates at youth level included Serge Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich, while he stepped up to the senior side following Ulreich's summer 2015 departure for Bayern.
• International team-mates:
Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Rúben Dias & Renato Sanches (Portugal)
• Rafa Silva and Renato Sanches were both in Portugal's victorious UEFA EURO 2016 squad.
• Vlachodimos and Serge Gnabry were part of the Germany squad that won the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
• Müller's hat-trick helped Germany to a 4-0 defeat of a Portugal side including André Almeida in the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage, Matt Hummels scoring the other goal. Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Jérôme Boateng and Götze were all in the Germany side.
• Summer transfers
In: Gabriel (Leganés), Odisseas Vlachodimos (Panathinaikos), Tyronne Ebuehi (Den Haag)*, Nicolás Castillo (Pumas), Germán Conti (Colón), Facundo Ferreyra (Shakhtar), Cristián Lema (Belgrano), Alfa Semedo (Moreirense), Sébastien Corchia (Sevilla, loan),
Out: Raúl Jiménez (Wolves, loan), Diogo Gonçalves (Nottingham Forest, loan), Eliseu (released), João Carvalho (Nottingham Forest), Martin Chrien (Santa Clara, loan), Paulo Lopes (retired)
• Benfica are on an 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W7 D4) stretching back to 28 April. They were 2-1 winners at home to Rio Ave in the Portuguese League Cup group stage on Saturday.
• Gedson Fernandes won his first cap for Portugal in the 1-1 friendly draw against Croatia on 6 September. Franco Cervi made his Argentina debut as a substitute in a 3-0 victory against Guatemala the following day, while Haris Seferović provided a goal and an assist as Switzerland swept aside Iceland 6-0 in the UEFA Nations League on 8 September.
• João Félix scored Portugal's second goal in a 2-0 defeat of Wales in 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying on 11 September.
• Jonas has not played this season due to a back problem, but has signed a contract extension until 2020.
• Rúben Dias and Gedson Fernandes have both signed new deals running to 2023.
• Sébastien Corchia has been out since 22 August after an operation on a knee injury, while Nicolás Castillo had not played since 14 August with a muscle problem before making his domestic debut for Benfica as a substitute at the weekend.
• Eduardo Salvio picked up an injury against Nacional on 2 September and missed Argentina's recent games, although he returned to score against Rio Ave on Saturday.
• Ljubomir Fejsa and Odisseas Vlachodimos picked up minor knocks against Nacional. Filip Krovinović has been sidelined by a knee injury since January; he is expected to return in October.
• Summer transfers
In: Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver, from 1 January 2019)
Out: Tom Starke (retired), Niklas Dorsch (Heidenheim), Douglas Costa (Juventus, loan made permanent), Arturo Vidal (Barcelona), Sebastian Rudy (Schalke), Juan Bernat (Paris)
• Thomas Müller's next appearance in the UEFA Champions League will be his 100th.
• 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.
• Bayern have won their first five games of this season in all competitions, having lost their last two in 2017/18. They beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 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 against Leverkusen and will be absent for several months.
• Rafinha also picked up an injury against Leverkusen, with a partial ligament tear in his left ankle expected to keep him sidelined for a number of weeks.
• 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.
• Robert Lewandowski scored three times in the German Super Cup against Eintracht and has six goals in Bayern's first five competitive games this season.
• Bayern won 1-0 at fourth tier Drochtersen/Assel in the German Cup first round on 18 August, and will play another club from the same level, Rödinghausen, in October's second round.
• Leon Goretzka scored his first Bayern goal in a 3-0 win at Stuttgart on 1 September.
• David Alaba was on target in Austria's 2-0 friendly win against Sweden on 6 September.