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What to watch for in Bayern Munich's Bundesliga game against Werder Bremen

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Even without their best midfielders, Bayern should have no trouble with Bremen

Bayern Muenchen v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Bundesliga Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Bayern Munich against Werder Bremen has not been a competitive fixture in nearly a decade. The Green and Whites have not won a game against Bayern since April 2008, and Bayern have won each of the last 14 meetings.

Werder Bremen have rebounded a bit since Alexander Nouri replaced Viktor Skripnik as the head coach, but still have not been able to distance themselves from the relegation zone. Bayern will be heavy favorites to register another big victory.

Here is what to watch for in Bayern’s latest trip to the Weserstadion.

What a team without Thiago or Arturo Vidal looks like

Carlo Ancelotti announced on Friday that both Thiago and Arturo Vidal are unavailable. That makes Saturday's trip to Bremen the first game where neither of Bayern's best midfielders make an appearance. Joshua Kimmich and Renato Sanches seem like the obvious replacements, but as was mentioned last week, the two have not played extended minutes together since Bayern's 2-2 draw against Frankfurt. One of the youngsters will have to play, unless Ancelotti decides to move Philipp Lahm/David Alaba in midfield alongside Xabi Alonso.

Douglas Costa and his consistent run in the XI

Douglas Costa got the nod over Franck Ribery in Bayern's game against Freiburg, and assisted Robert Lewandowski in his equalizing goal in the first half. Ancelotti said the Brazilian international will get another look against Werder Bremen, which would be his sixth start in a row in all competitions. Assuming that Ancelotti won't go full Guardiola and put Douglas Costa, Ribery and Arjen Robben on the field at the same time, one part of the Robbery duo will have to sit. Whoever does may shed a light on how versatile Douglas Costa is, for if Ancelotti sees him as a player who can start on either side, the rotation between the three could be much easier to manage.

The curious situation surrounding Serge Gnabry

Bayern have been ever present in Serge Gnabry's return to Germany, whether they are directly responsible for his move to Werder Bremen or if they are just keeping tabs on him to possibly pluck him from the Green and Whites in the summer. There has been a lot of scuttlebutt about Gnabry's future, and reports suggest that Werder Bremen will possibly extend him.

All the speculation has kept itself off the field for most of the season - He scored seven goals in the first 17 games of the season. But interim coach Alexander Nouri took off Gnabry in a curious first-half tactical change against Borussia Dortmund last week. One has to wonder if the off-field contract distractions are starting to affect the way Gnabry plays.

The return of Kingsley Coman

Coman has not played since the beginning of November with an ankle injury, but Ancelotti revealed he is ready to receive some game action against Bremen. The French international has not enjoyed the same success under Ancelotti as he had under Guardiola, but he has also struggled with injuries all season. A brief sniff at game action could indicate how ready he is to contribute, an important to do so with a Cup game against Wolfsburg on the horizon.

Another bashing in Bremen

Bremen are relying on a starting-turned-backup-turned-starting goalkeeper and once again have one of the worst goal concessions records in the Bundesliga. Their "strong" 10-man showing against Dortmund said more about the yellow and blacks than it did about the Green and Whites. Lewandowski has scored 10 goals in 13 games against Bremen, Thomas Müller 13 goals in 17 games. Bremen have not scored a goal against Bayern since April 2014, and chances are they are going to be letting a lot go in... again.