Maccabi Haifa looks to end Bayern's winning run
Bayern Munich arrives in Israel on the back of successive wins in the German Bundesliga.
Maccabi Haifa opens its Champions League campaign against an in-form Bayern Munich on Tuesday, after the Bavarian club bounced back from a slow start in the German Bundesliga.
Bayern defeated Borussia Dortmund 5-1 on Saturday, its second consecutive win after claiming only two points in its first three league games under new coach Louis van Gaal.
"It is natural that when you have a new coach things don't always start smoothly, but we have shown in the last few weeks that we have got back to our best," defender Philipp Lahm said Monday. "We are continuing on that path and have come here to take three points. We will learn all about Haifa and I believe it will be okay."
The game will be played at Ramat Gan stadium on Tuesday and will mark Israeli champion Haifa's second appearance in the Champions League.
The Greens beat Austrian champion FC Salzburg in a playoff in August to progress to the group stage, but Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said his team will get the better of its opponent.
"We saw Maccabi Haifa's game against Salzburg. It is a technical and good team, but Bayern Munich is better," he said.
"The last two matches against Wolfsburg and Dortmund were very important. We won both in convincing fashion and that proves something. An early goal (on Tuesday) could end the story very quickly and I am sure we have the quality to win in Israel."
The other two teams in the group, Juventus and Girondins Bordeaux, will face off in the Italian city of Turin on Tuesday night.