Bayern Munich vs Red Star BelgradeUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Sep 18, 2019, Allianz Arena
AT 1/16 Bayern have been chalked up as the biggest favourites on Matchday 1 of the 2019-20 Champions League so the bookies are in no doubt how this one is going to end.
And it's easy to see why. European super-power Bayern had reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals or better in seven successive campaigns before losing to Liverpool in the round of 16 in last year's competition.
In the group stages they tend to swat aside the competition, especially at home where they're unbeaten since 2013, winning 14 and drawing one of their last 15.
Opponents Red Star endured a tough Champions League experience last season. The obvious highlight being a 2-0 home win against eventual champions Liverpool. But they shipped 13 goals away from home (Paris Saint-Germain 1-6, Liverpool 0-4 and Napoli 1-3) and thos edefensive frailties must be a worry ahead of their trip to Munich.
They've also made hard work of getting to the group stages. They've had to overcome four rounds of qualifying and have done so by the skin of their teeth against;
- Sūduva 2-1 on aggregate (0-0 away, 2-1 home)
- HJK Helsinki 3-2 on aggregate (2-0 home, 1-2 away)
- FC København 7-6 on penalties after 2-2 on aggregate (1-1 home, 1-1 away)
- Young Boys on away goals 3-3 on aggregate (2-2 away, 1-1 home)
So actually just getting to the competition proper has been a major success for the Serbian champions. In a group that also includes Spurs and Olympiacos, Red Star will be confident of picking up some points, but it's unlikely they'll get any on the board on Wednesday.
Domestically, Red Star have made a perfect start to the Serbian season with six wins from six. In Germany Bayern have dropped four points in their opening four fixtures and sit fourth in the table.
But Robert Lewandowski has got his season off to a flier with seven goals in the opening four Bundesliga matches. He added another in the DFB Pokal at Energie Cottbus to take his tally to eight and we know already that he loves to score goals in the Champions League.
The pole is 6/4 to open the scoring and a measly 2/9 to score anytime. To score two or more he's 5/6.
Scottish referee Bobby Madden is the man in middle at the Allianz Arena and he's no stranger to pointing to the spot. He's awarded seven penalties in nine matches already this season and gave a spot in no less than every two matches last term.
I expect Bayern will have the lions share of possession in Red Star's final third so the chances of a penalyt being awarded look slightly better than the 8/5 (Unibet) on offer. Bayern can be backed at 11/4 to score from the spot and you wouldn't bank on Lewi missing from 12 yards if they're awarded one – he scored two in last season's group stages.
This UEFA Champions League match between Bayern Munich and Red Star Belgrade will be played on Sep 18, 2019 and kick off at 20:00