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Daily Schmankerl: Quick lineup thoughts and Anthony Martial reportedly shot down an extension from Manchester United

It’s game day and this one is HUGE for Bayern Munich...

SL Benfica v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Group E Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Interesting choices for Niko Kovač against Wolfsburg (@FCBayernEN)

The lineup is out and it’s not really what I would have gone with today in what amounts to a “must win” game, but it’s close. The inclusion of Javi Martinez is kind of what strikes me the most. I’d have preferred to sit Thiago Alcantara deeper at the “6” and see Thomas Müller take the reigns at the “10”, but Kovač seems to be opting for a more defensively capable lineup today by using Martinez at the “6.”

Serge Gnabry for Franck Ribery is fine and expected at this point, but Gnabry will have to start producing during his opportunities now that he is healthy and regaining his form. Mats Hummels and Niklas Süle would be my starting duo of choice today (and moving forward), but Jerome Boateng’s injury - despite his return to training - probably could use a little more rest just to be safe.

James Rodriguez’s inclusion was also not a shock, but his situation will be one to watch. After an excellent showing for Colombia during the international break, James will be looking to bring that performance to the pitch against Wolfsburg.

I expect Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski to be energized today and involved in the offense. I am calling for a 3-1 Bayern Munich win, but totally expect that to go up in flames.

Here is what Wolfsburg came up with as a group for starters:

Sidenote: This lineup card graphic from FC Augsburg is awesome (@FCA_World)

Best look for a tweet in the Bundesliga this week, which is fitting because the squad is actually exciting to watch as well. Alfred Finnbogason has ignited the lineup since his return from injury.

Anthony Martial rejects new deal with Manchester United (Read Bundesliga)

The Manchester United youngster has quality and talent, but has not been able to put it all together under Jose Mourinho. Rumored to be on Bayern Munich’s short list of wingers to pursue, Martial is engulfed in the contract negotiation game with Manchester United:

Bayern Munich target Anthony Martial has rejected a new contract with Premier League side Manchester United. According to French outlet RMC Sport, Martial is keen to leave the club at the earliest opportunity and has rejected several offers from United.

The report claims that United are desperate for him to sign a new deal and are set to come back with yet another proposal for Martial and his agent. Bayern were heavily linked with Martial in the summer and may make another move for the French international in the January transfer window, or at the end of the season. Martial scored in his last appearance for United, a 3-2 win over Newcastle before the recent international break. The forward is thought to have a rather fractious relationship with United manager Jose Mourinho, which is prompting him to reject the chance to extend his current contract with the club.

Martial and Manchester United clearly have issues, but this could all be posturing to get a better financial deal from the Red Devils.

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