FC Bayern München host FC Rostov, the UEFA Champions League newcomers from Russia, in their opening fixture in Group D.
• If five-time winners Bayern need no introduction to the demands of the UEFA Champions League, this is uncharted territory for a Rostov side who have never before competed in the group stage of a UEFA competition.
• For Carlo Ancelotti, a European Cup-winning coach with AC Milan and Real Madrid CF, this is the first European fixture in charge of a Bayern side who, under Josep Guardiola, were losing semi-finalists in last season’s UEFA Champions League, beaten on away goals by Club Atlético de Madrid.
• Bayern won all six home games in the 2015/16 competition, with an aggregate scoreline of 21-4, and need just one more victory in Munich to set a UEFA Champions League record. With their 2-1 semi-final second-leg victory over Atlético, Bayern made it 12 home wins in a row, equalling the existing mark set by Manchester United FC.
• Bayern’s home record against Russian visitors is W5 D3 L1.
• Their most recent opponents from Russia were PFC CSKA Moskva, whom they beat away and home in the group stage in both 2013/14 and 2014/15. Thomas Müller scored a penalty in each of Bayern’s last three encounters with CSKA.
• Rostov are making their first visit to Germany but they have faced an Ancelotti team before. Dmitri Kirichenko, now Rostov coach, was in the side beaten 9-1 on aggregate by an Ancelotti-managed Juventus in the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup semi-finals – their debut appearance in European competition.
• The newcomers reached the group stage by beating RSC Anderlecht (4-2 aggregate) in the third qualifying round and four-times winners AFC Ajax (5-2 agg) in the play-offs.
• They avoided defeat at both Anderlecht and Ajax, winning 2-0 in Brussels and drawing 1-1 in Amsterdam.
• Prior to this season, the Russian Premier League runners-up had played just ten European matches in their entire history – two fewer than Bayern contested in 2015/16 alone.
Coach and player links
• Ancelotti’s first taste of UEFA competition was as an Italy Under-21 player in a 3-1 defeat in the Soviet Union in April 1980. Eight years later he was in the Italy side beaten 2-0 by the USSR in the semi-final of the 1988 UEFA European Championship.
• As a coach Ancelotti has a 100% record against Russian opposition. His Juventus side beat Rostov 4-0 away and 5-1 at home in the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup. With AC Milan he oversaw 1-0 home and away successes against FC Lokomotiv Moskva in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League second group stage. With Chelsea FC there were wins (2-0 away, 4-1 home) against FC Spartak Moskva in the 2010/11 group stage.
• Kirichenko faced German clubs twice as a player in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. With FC Moskva he lost 2-0 on aggregate to Hertha BSC Berlin in 2006. With FC Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast, he suffered a 3-1 aggregate defeat by VfB Stuttgart, despite his goal having earned his team a 1-0 first-leg victory.
• Kingsley Coman hit his first goal for France in a 4-2 friendly defeat of Russia on 29 March this year.
• Arturo Vidal and Christian Noboa faced off in the opening game of the 2015 Copa América, Bayern’s Chilean midfielder scoring in the tournament hosts’ 2-0 victory over Noboa’s Ecuador.
• Franck Ribéry scored twice for France in a 4-2 FIFA World Cup qualifying win away to Timofei Kalachev’s Belarus in September 2013. Kalachev hit his side’s second goal.