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Bayern Munich’s defensive options in Real Madrid return match

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What will Carlo Ancelotti do?

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

Bayern Munich won’t be looking at the result from Wednesday’s loss in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal and feeling too positive. The 1-2 loss to Real Madrid means that Bayern have to score at least two goals at the Santiago Bernabéu to have any chance of advancing to the semifinals. Still, the defense will be the bigger concern heading into the match.

When Javi Martinez was sent off for his second yellow card in the second half, concern immediately began to ripple through the Bayern supporters around the globe. “Oh no! Hummels is already out!”, and they’re absolutely right. Losing two of your three centerbacks is terrible news for Bayern supporters.

Still, there are options!

Well, there are three options for next Tuesday’s match in Madrid, so let’s explore them.

If Mats Hummels can play...

Alaba - Hummels - Boateng - Lahm

Of course, this is the preferable choice if it can be had. Hummels could very well be ready to go 90 minutes by the time kickoff against Madrid start. If he is ready to go, he starts. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Partnering Hummels and Boateng in the center of Bayern’s defense was the plan from the moment last year when the the transfer was announced from Borussia Dortmund. If he’s ready to play, he plays.

If Mats Hummels can’t play...

Option 1

Bernat - Alaba - Boateng - Lahm

If Hummels can’t play, here is Carlo Ancelotti’s first option. David Alaba slides in to play centerback where he’s played multiple times already this season, and Juan Bernat starts at left back. This is the most logical lineup all things considered. If we’re all honest here, Alaba’s play throughout the season hasn’t inspired great confidence, so it won’t be a massive drop off to Bernat.

Option 2

Alaba - Kimmich - Boateng - Lahm

The other big option would be to keep Alaba at left back and slide Joshua Kimmich in to the empty centerback position. Kimmich proved last season that he was more than able to fill in at the position, even though doing so against a club like Madrid could have disastrous consequences if it goes wrong like it did against Juventus last season.

Option 3

Alaba - Götze - Boateng - Lahm

Nobody really wants this. The only non-Madrid fan that might want to see this lineup is Felix Götze.