There was a lot of hand-wringing after the first leg in Spain when Pep Guardiola decided to not start Thomas Müller against Atletico Madrid. The Bayern Munich manager opted for a three man midfield consisting of Xabi Alonso, Thiago Alcantara, and Arturo Vidal, meaning that everyone's favorite Raumdeuter was forced to a reserve position.
Now, with Bayern facing a 1-0 deficit after the first leg, what does the Spaniard have up his sleeve for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Semifinal clash in Munich?
The front attacking four will see Franck Ribery and Douglas Costa patrolling the flanks with Müller and Robert Lewandowski in the middle. Expect very fluid movement along the front by these four goalscoring threats.
With Thiago dropped, that leaves on Alonso and Vidal to hold down the midfield for Bayern. With the Bavarians expected to have the majority of possession on the day, David Alaba and Philipp Lahm are likely to tuck in from their fullback position to aid in the effort.
The defense is as expected. Alaba and Lahm at the fullback positions with Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng anchoring the middle.
Manuel Neuer, the world's best goalkeeper, starts in goal. Of course.
Bayern Munich Starting Lineup
Franck Ribery - Thomas Müller - Robert Lewandowski - Douglas Costa
Arturo Vidal - Xabi Alonso
David Alaba - Javi Martinez - Jerome Boateng - Philipp Lahm
Substitutes: Sven Ulreich, Serdar Tasci, Thiago Alcantara, Rafinha, Mario Götze, Kingsley Coman, Joshua Kimmich