Bayern Munich have a good amount of injuries that are limiting their national team involvement. However, they are still relinquishing 11 first-team players to allow them to dress in their country's colors.
These are not friendlies either. Qualification for the 2016 UEFA European Championships in France is coming to a conclusion the same time 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying is recommencing in South America. That puts some of Bayern's prominent players in the mayhem of the World's biggest football tournaments, and many of these countries will have to rely on Bayern's best talent to take them to the next level.
The other interesting wrinkle to this international break is the youth involvement. Three of Bayern's senior players will be participating at the U21 level, and all three may be key parts to allowing their countries to advance.
This international break will not be short of action, and here is a snapshot of everything Bayern can look forward to.
Matches: Oct. 9 @ Montenegro, Oct. 12 vs. Liechtenstein
Group G Record: 7 W, 1 D, 0 L (Group Winner)
Bayern Player: David Alaba
This may be the most stress-free international break Alaba has ever been a part of. His Austria has already won their group with two matches to spare, and one of the two teams is a tiny principality nobody has ever heard of. Still, it will be one of four opportunities he will have to train with his countrymen before the Euros. Marcel Koller probably won't play him in both matches, but he will be a big box-to-box presence in the match he does.
Matches: Oct. 8 @ Republic of Ireland, Oct. 11 vs. Georgia
Group D Record: 6 W, 1 D, 1 L
Bayern Player: Jerome Boateng, Mario Götze, Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer
Germany is three points away from clinching qualification to the Euros and the only team that can prevent them from fully qualifying is the Republic of Ireland. Safe to say, head coach Joachim Löw is going to do everything he can to make sure Germany wins the match on Thursday. That means all Bayern players will be on deck, most likely starting as well. Löw tends to use Bayern's players in positions they have been playing at club level, which means Götze might be serving up balls to Müller instead of the other way around. Going to Ireland will not be as easy as it looks, so Bayern's top Germans will have to give it their all to ensure quick qualification.
Matches: Oct. 8 @ Scotland, Oct. 11 vs. Republic of Ireland
Group D Record: 5 W, 2 D, 1 L
Bayern Player: Robert Lewandowski
Being the most in form striker will be a hollow accolade if Lewandowski cannot use his superhuman abilities to serve his country. Playing for Poland is always difficult, for it takes an over achievement in individual skill in order to give him proper service. He is still the best striker on the planet though, and maybe Andriusz Milik can do enough to give him the space he needs. Poland need results against both Scotland and Ireland to qualify outright for the Euros, and his country is going to need every ounce of divine skill Lewandowski has.
Matches: Oct. 9 vs. Luxembourg, Oct. 12 @ Ukraine
Group C Record: 7 W, 0 D, 1 L
Bayern Player: Thiago Alcântara
Thiago has endured a crucible of injuries in his first two years with Bayern, but his return to full form got the attention of coach Vicente del Bosque. The gaffer may be so inclined to include him in Spain's midfield right away since playmaker Andres Iniesta is unavailable due to injury. Thiago is former teammates with critical Spain players such as Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, and Pedro Rodríguez, so reconnecting with the national team will not be as big of a chore as it is for others. Spain are two points away from clinching qualification, so Thiago needs to only help Spain beat tiny Luxembourg for his call-up to be a success.
FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – CONMEBOL
Matches: Oct. 8 vs. Brazil, Oct. 11 @ Peru
Bayern Player: Arturo Vidal
Vidal left Brazil in September due to, well, questionable circumstances, but he has quickly returned to help Chile in their World Cup qualifying. Him returning at the weekend from his knee injury ensured he would be at Jorge Sampaoli's beck and call, and he showed during the last World Cup what he would sacrifice physically for his country. Sampaoli will lean on Vidal's destroying abilities against Brazil, a match the Chileans could very easily win. The hope here is Vidal's knee issue does not get any worse while he is on international duty.
Matches: Oct. 8 @ Chile, Oct. 11 vs. Venezuela
Bayern Player: Douglas Costa
As he continues to improve with Bayern, Douglas opportunities with the Seleçao will continue to increase. Luckily for him, Neymar is suspended for two more matches, so a spot opposite Willian may be open for him to thrive in. Brazil needs a big pick-me-up after their performance in the Copa America, and Douglas is one of the best pick-me-ups a team can have. With world class fullbacks behind him, Douglas will once again be set up to succeed, and he might find a key goal or two to get Brazil off on the right foot in qualification.
U21 European Qualification
Match: Oct. 9 vs. Azerbaijan U21
Group 7 Record: 2 W, 0 D, 0 L
Bayern Player: Ivan Lucic
Now the number one goalkeeper with the reserves Lucic has all but solidified his spot with Austria's U21 team. He still has been second choice behind Ross County's Daniel Bachmann, but that might change since Bachmann has not secured minutes in the Scottish Premier League. Lucic has kept clean sheets in his last two starts with Bayern II, and it would be pretty cool to see coach Werner Gregoritsch give him a shot against Azerbaijan.
Matches: Oct. 10 @ Scotland U21, Oct. 13 vs. Ukraine U21
Group 3 Record: 0 W, 0 D, 1 L
Bayern Player: Kingsley Coman
Roman may feel hard done by with Manchester United's Anthony Martial getting the call to the senior squad before him, but U21 coach Pierre Mankowski may need him more in two crucial qualifying matches against Scotland and Ukraine. Coman is by far the most experienced forward the U21s have, and he and Sébastian Haller will be the ones driving the attack. If the form he has showed with Bayern translates to the national team, it will not be long before he makes his debut with the first team.
Matches: Oct. 9 vs. Finland U21, Oct. 13 @ Faroe Islands U21
Group 7 Record: 1 W, 0 D, 0 L
Bayern Player: Joshua Kimmich
Though Pep Guardiola called for Kimmich's inclusion to the national team, Horst Hrubesch really needs his centerpiece midfielder to direct this new crop of talent at the U21 level. Kimmich teamed up with Wolfsburg's Maximilian Arnold and Schalke's Leon Goretzka, and he still looked like the best midfielder on the park much like the UEFA U21 European Championship. He will be the No. 6 that will direct the play for Germany against Finland and the Faroe Islands, and don't be surprised to see Germany get six more points towards another U21 European qualification.
FIFA U17 World Cup
Group C Matches: Oct. 18 vs. Australia U17, Oct. 21 vs. Argentina U17, Oct. 24 vs. Mexico U17
Bayern Players: Niklas Dorsch, Fabian Benko (Provisional)
Before his straight promotion straight to the reserves, Dorsch was a pretty integral piece to Germany's U17 team. Unfortunately he missed the UEFA U17 European Championships with a calf injury, but now he is back in the side for the World Cup. Benko is among the provisional roster two, although Bayern may want him to stay closer to the club as he continues to develop. Dorsch has a few people in his way with the reserve team, so there is no better time to travel to Chile with the Germany U17 team than right now.
Bayern Munich International Break Calendar
|Date & Time||Fixture||Bayern Player(s)|
|Thursday, October 8|
|2:45 PM EDT||Republic of Ireland vs. Germany||Boateng, Götze, Müller, Neuer|
|2:45 PM EDT||Scotland vs. Poland||Lewandowski|
|7:30 PM EDT||Chile vs. Brazil||Douglas, Vidal|
|Friday, October 9|
|11:30 AM EDT||Austria U21 vs. Azerbaijan U21||Lucic|
|12:00 PM EDT||Germany U21 vs. Finland U21||Kimmich|
|2:45 PM EDT||Spain vs. Luxembourg||Thiago|
|2:45 PM EDT||Montenegro vs. Austria||Alaba|
|Saturday, October 10|
|10:00 AM EDT||Scotland U21 vs. France U21||Coman|
|Sunday, October 11|
|2:45 PM EDT||Germany vs. Georgia||Boateng, Götze, Müller, Neuer|
|2:45 PM EDT||Poland vs. Republic of Ireland||Lewandowski|
|Monday, October 12|
|2:45 PM EDT||Ukraine vs. Spain||Thiago|
|2:45 PM EDT||Austria vs. Liechtenstein||Alaba|
|Tuesday, October 13|
|12:30 PM EDT||Faroe Islands U21 vs. Germany U21||Kimmich|
|12:45 PM EDT||France U21 vs. Ukraine U21||Coman|
|9:00 PM EDT||Brazil vs. Venezuela||Douglas|
|10:15 PM EDT||Peru vs. Chile||Vidal|