Olympiakos - Bayern Munich Preview: Bavarians look for positive start in European campaign
Image credit: VAVEL (Jonny Walsh)

Bayern Munich open their Champions League account against Olympiakos this week, and the German giants look in ruthless form going into the game in Greece. Olympiakos will not be easy for Bayern, they won all three of their home group stage games in this competition last term, beating three champions in the process - La Liga's Atletico Madrid, Juventus of Serie A and Sweden's Malmo.

Both sides have started the defence of their league titles with three wins out of three. Bayern have recorded an emphatic 5-0 victory at home to Hamburger SV along with dramatic wins against 1899 Hoffenheim and FC Augsburg, both ending in 2-1 victories.

Olympiakos head into the game with their own immaculate domestic record, having added a 3-1 victory over pointless Platanias to previous wins over Levadiakos and Panionios.

Team News

Mario Götze is fit to return for Wednesday's Champions League clash after picking up a slight knock on international duty. The German international has started just one of Bayern's opening four league games, an impact in Europe could be what he needs to regain his place.

Arturo Vidal came close to winning Europe's top prize last season with Juventus, but having left Turin over the summer, he now begins this campaign with Bayern and he's set to be the main man in midfield again on Wednesday.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola will have to do without wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Frenchman Ribery has been missing from the pitch for six months with an ankle injury while Robben is due to spend a month on the sidelines due to a groin problem.

The home side have been granted a little more fortune ahead of this clash, with only new forward signing El Fardou Ben Nabouhane expected to miss the game through injury.

Key Players

Douglas Costa

With Bayern missing Robben and Ribery, the attacking force will come from their new Brazilian from Shakhtar Donetsk. Douglas Costa has instantly become a fan-favourite in Bavaria with his direct running and flair on the ball. He is the man keeping Götze out of the team at the moment and it's hard to see the new man on the block losing his starting spot anytime soon. He could prove a major threat for any defense he comes up against this season.

Brown Ideye

The move from the Premier League could rekindle his goalscoring touch.
The move from the Premier League could rekindle his goalscoring touch.

Recently signed from West Bromwich Albion, Brown Ideye will have the heavy responsibility of leading the line for Olympiakos on Wednesday evening. The deadline day signing is yet to get off the mark for his new club but a goal against the German champions would instantly fire him into Olympiakos stardom. Coming up against Jerome Boateng is no easy task but the big physical presence of Ideye could cause a few problems.

Expected line-ups

Olympiakos: Roberto - Elabdellaoui - Costa - Siovas - Masuaku - Milivojevic - Cambiasso - Durmaz - Dominguez - Pardo - Ideye

Bayern Munich: Neuer - Lahm - Boateng - Alaba - Bernat - Vidal - Alonso - Thiago - Douglas Costa - Muller - Lewandowski.