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Bayern Munich vs. FC Ingolstadt, Bundesliga: rampant team flu gives rise to an emergency centerback

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Who’s playing centerback alongside Javi Martinez?

International Champions Cup 2016 - FC Bayern Munich v Real Madrid CF Photo by Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Images

You can say this about Carlo Ancelotti. He’s a man of his word. Yesterday he said Joshua Kimmich was going to start and here we are today and Kimmich is the the man on the team sheet. The only issue is where is he playing?

Mats Hummels was a late scratch, going down with the same illness that has taken Philipp Lahm, Thomas Müller, and David Alaba out of commission for this game. With Hummels, Jerome Boateng, and Holger Badstuber all out, that’s leaves Bayern with an emergency centerback alarm.

Look for who fills that role? Will it be Xabi Alonso? Or Rafinha? Or will Joshua Kimmich move out of midfield into the backline even after his performances this past 10-day?

Anticipated Tactical Setup

While it’s definitely not set in stone, I’d but the odds that Xabi Alonso plays in the backline vs the odds that Joshua Kimmich plays in the backline vs Rafinha plays in the backline all at about 1/3. Pep Guardiola cross trained this team so well and to to such a significant degree, that I’d feel comfortable with any of them playing centerback.

Against the likes of Ingolstadt, I’d prefer to see Alonso move into the backline if only for the sole purpose of getting Kimmich, Vidal, and Sanches game minutes together as that’s likely the future midfield of this team going forward.

In attack, look for how Sanches and Vidal handle their responsibility in supporting Robert Lewandowski. Ribery and Coman are best wide, which means no support for Robert Lewandowski against two centerbacks. How Vidal and Sanches make their late runs and absorb pressure for Lewandowski is going to be key.

FC Ingolstadt Starting Lineup