With a combined total of nine European titles, these two teams last faced each other competitively nine years ago, with Bayern prevailing 3-1 in a quarter-final second-leg match. They also met in the group stage back in 2001. After winning their first three Bundesliga matches of the season, Bayern Munich's perfect start came to a halt with a thrilling 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen last Friday. Harry Kane's 300th career club goal was equalized by Alex Grimaldo, and Leon Goretzka appeared to secure the win with an 86th-minute strike. However, Leverkusen snatched a dramatic point with Exequiel Palacios converting a penalty in stoppage time following a VAR review.
Coach Thomas Tuchel felt his team needed more aggressiveness to secure the victory. Tuchel has never beaten Manchester United on home soil in four previous attempts.
On the other hand, Bayern has never lost to Manchester United at home, winning three and drawing two matches. Bayern Munich is considered strong favorites to top Group A ahead of Manchester United, Galatasaray, and Copenhagen. They have an impressive record in the Champions League group stage, boasting a remarkable 34-game unbeaten run, the longest in the competition's history. They aim to secure their 14th consecutive group-stage home win on Wednesday.
For Manchester United, it has been a challenging week. Manager Erik ten Hag was hoping to lift the mood at Old Trafford with a positive result, but they were instead booed off the pitch after a disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion. Languishing in 13th place and nine points behind league leaders Manchester City, Ten Hag insists that Manchester United is not in crisis and urges his squad to "stick to the plan."
Next up for the Red Devils are back-to-back away games, with a Premier League match against Burnley on Saturday followed by Wednesday's tough trip to Bavaria to face Bayern Munich. Manchester United has won just one of their last eight meetings with Bayern in the Champions League.
While Manchester United has lost more Champions League encounters to Barcelona (five) than to Bayern (four), fans will surely remember the historic 1999 final victory over Bayern Munich under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, one of only two wins against the Bundesliga side in Europe's most prestigious club competition.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS Bayern Munich's midfielder Joshua Kimmich is uncertain due to an inflamed tendon, and his condition will be evaluated before the match. Meanwhile, Manuel Neuer (calf), Kingsley Coman (muscle), Raphael Guerreiro (calf), and Tarek Buchmann (hamstring) are still undergoing treatment.
Coach Tuchel briefly experimented with Matthijs de Ligt and Noussair Mazraoui as defensive midfielders towards the end of the draw with Leverkusen when Kimmich was substituted in the second half. However, if Kimmich is unable to play on Wednesday, Konrad Laimer is likely to start in the center-midfield alongside Goretzka.
Former Tottenham Hotspur star Kane has been in good form, scoring four goals in as many Bundesliga games this season. He is expected to lead the attack, supported by Serge Gnabry and former Manchester City winger Leroy Sane. Jamal Musiala, who has recovered from injury, will compete with Thomas Muller for a starting spot in the number 10 role.
On the other side, Manchester United faces a fresh injury setback as Aaron Wan-Bissaka is expected to be sidelined for "several weeks" due to an unspecified injury, with Diogo Dalot likely to take his place at right-back.
Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia (all muscle injuries), Mason Mount (hamstring), Sofyan Amrabat (back), Tom Heaton (calf), Amad Diallo (knee), and Kobbie Mainoo (ankle) are also unavailable. However, Ten Hag has mentioned that at least one of these players could be fit to return on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, Antony will remain absent "until further notice" due to allegations of assault against him, and Jadon Sancho is unavailable after being excluded from first-team training following a social media incident with Ten Hag.
Following an unsuccessful attempt with a 4-4-2 diamond formation in the loss to Brighton, Ten Hag may opt for a 4-2-3-1 setup against Bayern. This could involve starting either Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho, or Facundo Pellistri on the right flank.
POSSIBLE LINE-UPS Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Ulreich; Mazraoui, Upamecano, Kim, Davies; Laimer, Goretzka; Sane, Musiala, Gnabry; Kane
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Reguilon; Casemiro, Eriksen; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund
Bayern Munich 4 Vs 1 Manchester United
Bayern possesses a formidable attack, featuring the prolific goal scorer Kane and a group of fast-paced attackers. They are likely to find success against Manchester United's vulnerable defense, making it probable that Bayern will earn maximum points in their first Group A match.