By 90Min
October 22, 2018

AEK Athens' search for a first win in the UEFA Champions League continues with a tough encounter at home to Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening.

The Greek Superleague champions lost their opening two fixtures against fellow Group E contenders Ajax and Benfica, conceding three goals in both fixtures. They welcome a Bayern side whose return from the international break saw them bounce back from four consecutive matches without a win, beating Wolfsburg 3-1.

Ahead of the game at the Greek capital, here’s what you need to know.

When? Tuesday 22 October @ 17:55 (BST)
Where? Athens Olympic Stadium
How Can I Watch? BT Sport 

Recent Form

AEK continued a promising start to the defence of their title on Saturday, beating winless Apollon Smyrni 2-0, courtesy of goals by attackers Petros Mantalos and Marko Livaja. That result earned them their fifth win in seven league games, though consistency will be vital if they are to close the gap on rivals PAOK, who have six points on them on top of the table.

Bayern, meanwhile, beat Wolfsburg to keep a place in the top four of the German Bundesliga and they too know of the importance of maintaining that form to close the four-point gap between them and top-of-the-table Borussia Dortmund.

Key Battles

Petros Mantalos vs. Joshua Kimmich

AEK captain Mantalos primarily features on the left side of an attacking midfield trio and as the armband testifies, is an important player for his side.

The 29 year-old scored his third goal of the season in all competitions for the Greek side on Saturday and will head into this game buzzing to once again be his team's creative spark, as they seek what would be a huge scalp in the form of Bayern.

His task will likely put him against right-back Joshua Kimmich, who like his opponent poses an attacking threat, although the German may be required to sacrifice that talent to let the more defensive side of his game shine on Tuesday evening.

Robert Lewandowski vs. Dmytro Chygrynskiy

The experience of Ukranian defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy will be vital to shutting down the threat of one of Europe's deadliest strikers, Robert Lewandowski.

The Bayern forward was in top form on Saturday, netting twice in the Bundesliga and providing an assist for his side at the Volkswagen Arena. The objective won't be any different for this game against AEK, meaning Chygrynskiy's positional awareness, ability to read the game and tackle will need to be top drawer.

Team News

The home side will be without a trio of players in key positions as forward Christos Albanis and defenders Helder Lopes and Marios Oikonomou are sidelined by injuries.

Bayern have travelled to Athens without winger Frank Ribery, who will miss the match due to a back injury. Other absentees include fellow countrymen Kingsley Coman, who has an ankle problem and Corentin Tolisso, who is out with a knee issue.

Predicted Lineups

AEK Athens XI: Barkas; Bakakis, Lampropoulos, Chygrynskiy, Hult; Andre Simoes, Galanopoulos; Bakasetas, Klonaridis, Mantalos; Ponce

Bayern Munich XI: Neuer; Kimmich, Hummels, Süle, Alaba; Thiago, Martinez; Robben, Müller, James; Lewandowski

Prediction


Bayern are undoubtedly the strongest side in Group E and will be keen to further reinforce that with a strong performance and win against AEK on Tuesday.

The Greek Superleague club may fancy their chances playing at home and will undoubtedly look to grasp them if and when they do come, but Niko Kovac's men are overwhelming favourites to grab the three points.

Prediction: AEK Athens 1-3 Bayern Munich

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