Writer Forum: Flirting With Lineup Changes

Lars Baron

The Champions League Final Starting XI was predictable, but the DFB Pokal XI could go in many different directions. What, if any, changes should Jupp Heynckes make to his squad against VfB Stuttgart? The BFW Writers discuss...

Update: For those who did not catch the news report from FCBayern.de, Dante and Luiz Gustavo will not be eligible for the DFB Pokal Final. Both Brazilians were called into the National Team for the Confederations Cup, and have to be in Rio de Janeiro by 4pm to meet the report deadline. Jupp Heynckes and board members elected to release the two in order to not hamper the international

Both players share Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's frustrations of the news just two days before the DFB Pokal final. "I find the pressure being applied inhumane and unscrupulous, said Rummenigge. "More than anything else, I think it's very unfair, because the players are being forced into a position that I believe is unacceptable."

Now that we know that at least one change will come to the Starting XI, who else should get the nod? The BFW writers give their take:

Ryan Cowper: Mario Gomez

Coming up for Saturday's DFB Pokal final in Berlin, I would make one change in the quest for the treble: Mario Gomez for Mario Mandžukić. In what has been a disappointing season in a Bayern uniform for the striker, I would like to see Mario Gomez end this season on a high note. Besides, it may be the last time we see Gomez in a Bayern uniform.

Samrin Hasib: Xherdan Shaqiri, Mario Gomez/Claudio Pizarro, Daniel van Buyten

The players, despite the celebrations, will be well rested ahead of the Cup final due to the week gap. However, some players have played incredibly well this season but were not afforded a chance to start in the historic Champions League Finale against Dortmund due to the overall quality of the squad. Hence, I would definitely consider giving Xherdan Shaqiri, Mario Gomez/Claudio Pizarro, and Daniel van Buyten a chance. At least Van Buyten deserves a chance amongst these players. Gomez has an excellent scoring record against Stuttgart. Gustavo slotted in seamlessly against Juventus in the Champions League. Therefore, while Jupp Heynckes does want to win the one trophy missing from his coaching cabinet, he might just hand one of these five guys a chance.

The possibilities are small as if Bayern does go on to do the unthinkable and lose, despite the successes of these past few weeks, the fans might be just slightly unhappy. Perhaps, three of these five will get a chance in the second half if Bayern manages to batter Stuttgart in the manner in which they did in their first season meeting. However, if the match turns out to be like their second season meeting, tight and enclosed, Heynckes should and perhaps will stick to the best of the best.

Phillip Quinn: No Changes

I've thought about it, and I don't think I really want to make any changes to the lineup for the Pokal Final. I want to beat Stuttgart handily and win the treble. The only change that I will go for right now would be swapping the Marios and start Gomez over Mandzukic. I actually felt kind of bad seeing Gomez coming on in the dying moments of the Champions League Final. He's taken a lot of stick over the last year from non-supporters and supporters alike, and I was hoping that he'd get at least a moment to "redeem" himself. Otherwise, why make any changes to a winning team?

Scott Schroder: No Changes

I don't think any changes are necessary beyond pairing Daniel van Buyten and Jerome Boateng together with Dante's absence. As far as changes I'd like to see from a non-footballing perspective, it would be nice to see Tymoshchuk get in the match one last time before he leaves.

Davis VanOpdorp: Xherdan Shaqiri

Initially I figured that Mario Gomez would be great to start up top, considering he has scored nine goals in the fixture since joining Bayern in 2009. However, the Champions League Final convinced me that Mario Mandžukić's movement is too important to take out of the lineup. Mario Gomez will play against his former club, considering it could be the last game he plays with Bayern. Meanwhile, Xherdan Shaqiri should get a chance to play in the right, with either Thomas Müller or Arjen Robben starting in the middle behind Mandžukić. Shaqiri's dynamite crosses and his free kick ability all season be rewarded, and a spot in the DFB Pokal XI should be a great acknowledgement of his development.

OK, enough from us! What do you think? Vote and comment below.

From all of us at BFW, thanks for reading.

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