Beaten in the round of 16 last season, Bayern München kick off Group B with a rematch of their 1991 semi-final against Crvena zvezda.
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Bayern München bowed out of last season's UEFA Champions League at an uncommonly early stage and their latest European quest kicks off with a home game against a Crvena zvezda side who are in the group stage for the second year in row.
• The German club lost to eventual champions Liverpool in the 2018/19 round of 16 – their earliest exit since 2010/11 – and will be seeking to extend a long unbeaten home run in the group stage against opponents who lost all three away games on their debut appearance last season.
• This is the teams' sixth meeting, and a first since Bayern's 3-2 win in Belgrade in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage, 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.
• 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 at home, 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, meaning they have won only two of their last six UEFA Champions League matches in Munich (D2 L2).
• In the group stage, however, Bayern have won 14 of their last 15 home matches (D1) and are unbeaten in Munich since a 3-2 home loss against Manchester City on matchday six in December 2013.
• 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 have won three of their four European matches at home to Serbian clubs, most recently a 3-1 win against Crvena zvezda's fierce rivals Partizan in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round second leg (6-1 aggregate).
• European champions in 1991, Crvena zvezda claimed their second successive Serbian league title in 2018/19 and a 29th national championship overall.
• 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 group stage win for Serbia with a 2-0 home defeat of Liverpool on matchday four, Milan Pavkov scoring both goals. Away from home they lost at Paris Saint-Germain (1-6), Liverpool (0-4) and Napoli (1-3).
• 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 FC København (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 three of their last 16 European fixtures (D8 L5) and are eight games without an away victory (D4 L4) since a 2-1 triumph at Spartak Trnava in last season's third qualifying round second leg.
• 'Red Star' won 1-0 away and home against Köln in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage, their most recent fixtures against a German club. The win in Cologne was their fourth away success against a German club in their 15th fixture (L11).
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:
Alphonso Davis & Milan Borjan (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:
Manuel Neuer & Marko Marin (Germany 2009–10)
Thomas Müller & Marko Marin (Germany 2010)
• Summer transfers
In: Lucas Hernández (Atlético Madrid), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Jann-Fiete Arp (Hamburg), Ivan Perišić (Inter, loan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona, loan), Mickaël Cuisance (Mönchengladbach)
Out: Marco Friedl (Bremen), Jonathan Meier (Mainz), Franck Ribéry (released, Fiorentina), Arjen Robben (retired), Rafinha (released, Flamengo), Mats Hummels (Dortmund), Renato Sanches (LOSC Lille)
• Bayern lost 2-0 to Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup on 3 August, ending a run of three successive wins in the competition.
• The Munich club won 3-1 at fourth division Energie Cottbus in the German Cup first round on 12 August and will visit 2. Bundesliga side Bochum in October's second round.
• Niko Kovač's side opened the new Bundesliga season with a 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin on 16 August, but have since beaten Schalke (3-0) and Mainz (6-1).
• On Saturday Bayern drew 1-1 away to Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig.
• Eight points after four matches is Bayern's lowest total at this stage of a Bundesliga campaign since 2014/15, when they also had eight points; they went on to win the title that season by ten points.
• Robert Lewandowski scored Bayern's first five Bundesliga goals of the season, and has registered eight times in six Bayern appearances in all competitions in 2019/20, including at Leipzig on Saturday. He leads the Bundesliga scoring charts after four games with seven goals.
• On 29 August Lewandowski extended his contract at Bayern for two years until 2023.
• New signings Benjamin Pavard and Ivan Perišić scored their first Bayern goals against Mainz.
• Serge Gnabry scored in both Germany's 4-2 home loss against the Netherlands on 6 September and the 2-0 win at Northern Ireland three days later, both in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying.
• Kingsley Coman was also on target in both France's EURO games, hitting two goals in a 4-1 defeat of Albania on 7 September and one in a 3-0 success against Andorra three days later.
• Perišić was on target in Croatia's 4-0 win away to Slovakia on 6 September.
• David Alaba sustained an adductor injury while warming up for the Leipzig match and is expected to be sidelined for the next few weeks.
• Leon Goretzka, who is yet to play in the Bundesliga this season because of a thigh injury, suffered a setback in training with the German national team and missed the Netherlands and Northern Ireland games. He underwent surgery on 11 September.
• Summer transfers
In: Mateo García (Las Palmas), Tomané (Tondela), Njegoš Petrović (Rad), Radovan Pankov (Radnicki Niš), Nikola Vasiljević (Radnik), Jander (Pafos), Miloš Degenek (al-Hilal, loan), José Cañas (PAOK), Rajiv van La Parra (Huddersfield)
Out: Dejan Joveljić (Eintracht), Aleksa Terzić (Fiorentina), Lorenzo Ebecilio (Júbilo Iwata), Goran Čaušić (Arsenal Tula), Vujadin Savić (APOEL), Zé Marcos (Avaí), Stefan Fićović (Grafičar Beograd), Dejan Meleg (Radnicki Niš), Nenad Milijaš (retired), Nemanja Supić (retired), Erik Jirka (Radnicki Niš, loan), Stefan Hajdin (Voždovac, loan), Filip Stojković (Rapid Wien)
• Crvena zvezda have won their last 11 Serbian Super League matches, including all six this season. They were 2-1 winners at home against Indjija on Saturday thanks to two penalties in the final three minutes from Milan Pavkov.
• The Belgrade club have suffered only one defeat in their last 69 league outings, a 3-2 loss at Čukarički on 20 April this year. Their record otherwise is W62 D6.
• Crvena zvezda have scored two or more goals in all six league matches in 2019/20.
• A 2-1 loss at HJK in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round second leg is Crvena zvezda's only defeat in 14 matches in all competitions this season (W8 D5).
• Marko Gobeljić, who won the most recent of his two international caps in January 2017, was called up for Serbia's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers against Portugal and Luxembourg but was an unused squad member.
• Richmond Boakye has been out since the play-off second leg against Young Boys on 27 August with a hamstring injury, and has been training individually, but is close to a return.