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How will Bayern Munich line up against Ajax?

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Another game with almost no changes? It’s possible. Niko Kovac really seems to like this current lineup.

FC Bayern Muenchen - Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

With a spot at the top of the group on the line, Bayern Munich prepares to face the sternest test of its Champions League season so far. Coach Niko Kovac is determined to prove that his team’s resurgence is no fluke, but Ajax almost played the Bavarians off the park the last time they met. Can Bayern prove that they have what it takes to get the job done in Amsterdam?

Team News

Both James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso remain sidelined as they recover from their respective knee injuries. James’ case is far less severe than Tolisso’s, but even then he was projected to be out for the rest of 2018. For now, there are no new developments on that front.

Arjen Robben was left out of Bayern’s squad for the game. The veteran Dutch winger is still suffering from thigh problems which kept him sidelined for Bayern’s league games against Werder Bremen and Nürnberg. It’s a shame that he’ll miss the chance to dazzle his countrymen on home soil.

That said, it was unlikely that any of those players would have started anyway, because it seems that Niko Kovac is going to opt out of rotation once again. Speaking to the press before the game, the coach said:

The team have started to find their feet, so that means we aren’t planning on changing too much for tomorrow. There may be no changes at all.

This all but confirms what the lineup will be. Happily, I don’t have to make a new article picture for it, but it is a little bit disconcerting that Kovac doesn’t want to rotate for a midweek game. Perhaps, since the game is on Wednesday, Kovac is banking on his players being rested enough to survive, and then rotate against 17th place Hannover on the weekend. Let’s hope it works out for him.

Here’s what the lineup most likely will be.

Possible alterations include:

  • Kingsley Coman in for Franck Ribery or Serge Gnabry. Both of these players have accumulated some heavy minutes recently, and Kovac might just opt to rest one of them.
  • Thiago Alcantara in for Joshua Kimmich. In his press conference, Kovac confirmed that Kimmich-Goretzka wasn’t the only pairing he would try, Thiago remains in the mix. Perhaps he might get his first start since coming back from injury.

Aside from this, the lineup is virtually set in stone. With his lack of rotation, Niko Kovac is taking a big gamble here. If it doesn’t pay off, questions will inevitably follow.