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Predictions: How will Bayern Munich lineup against Borussia Monchengladbach?

Lots of changes are expected for Bayern, but just what, exactly, will the starting eleven look like?

MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 04: Sandro Wagner (front) of FC Bayern Muenchen and teammates practice during a training session at the club's Saebener Strasse training court on October 4, 2018 in Munich, Germany. Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern

There’s no disguising the importance of Bayern Munich’s match against Borussia Mönchengladbach this weekend. It’s been a lackluster week and a half for Niko Kovac’s side, and they’re in desperate need of a positive result to shake off the hangover from three consecutive performances that were well below par. A win at the Allianz Arena before heading into the international break is exactly what Kovac and Bayern need. Anything less will justifiably be more cause for concern.

All of the buildup to the match suggests that we’re likely to see several changes to the starting lineup from the XI that started against Ajax in the Champions League midweek. Several players have seriously underperformed over the past week and a half and just may have sealed their fate for inclusion, or lack thereof, in the Mönchengladbach match. Dieter Hecking’s ’Gladbach side, meanwhile, has proven to be no pushover this season either, as the Foals are more than deserving of the fourth spot in the table, where they currently reside (11pts), just two points behind Bayern (13pts).

Team news:

  • Mats Hummels has been cleared to play, but his inclusion in the starting lineup is in doubt after he took several blows to the head during the Ajax match, requiring stitches.
  • Thomas Müller and Kovac were seed deep in conversation after Thursday’s training session, apart from the rest of the group. Bild speculates that he could be dropped to the bench.
  • James has been unhappy with his lack of consistent minutes and left the Allianz Arena just ten minutes after the final whistle vs. Ajax. He might start in place of Müller.
  • Serge Gnabry could earn a start after the last two matches in which both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery started on the flanks. Ribery was the weaker of the two in both matches vs. Hertha Berlin and Ajax. Gnabry could replace him in the starting lineup.

Without further adieu, here are three of our predicted lineups:

Tom Adams:

Lineup Builder

I feel that despite Kovac’s recent conversation in training with Thomas Müller apart from the rest of the group, he’ll stick with Müller in the starting eleven to help create spaces in attack for James, Ribery, Robben, and Lewandowski. Müller was one of a handful of players that played below par in the past week and a half, but I suspect that Kovac’s conversation with him during training was more along the lines of what he expects from him, rather than letting him know days in advance he’ll be relegated to the bench.

Chuck Smith:

Lineup Builder

A straight 4-1-4-1 that implements the so-called Thiagoretzka formation that a lot of fans have been calling for after Bayern’s run of poor performances, especially in the midfield. With Thiago as the anchor, or so-called number 6, Goretzka and James can have more license to alternate between roaming forward in attack, and holding back to assist Thiago and the back line when Bayern are on the back foot. This lineup would also help James utilize his creative distribution if he assumes a position just ahead of Thiago, letting Goretzka venture further forward most of the time.

Valentin King:

Lineup Builder

This lineup is essentially Thiagoretzka as it was for the 3-0 routing of Vfb Stuttgart minus Müller. We saw in that match how well it worked, and it could very well work to the same effect with James in the number 10 spot behind Lewandowski instead of Müller. Also, it’s a slight alteration on Chuck’s predicted lineup that is more of a straight 4-1-4-1, assuming that James and Goretzka will alternate between making runs forward and tracking back.

Which lineup to you like best? How do you think Bayern Munich will line up?

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