After the excitement of Wednesday’s Champions League fixture, I think I speak for most of the Bayern Munich fanbase when I say we could use a little bit less excitement in our lives. Hannover 96 are ANOTHER relegation contender this season, and they’re in luck because the Bavarians might be tired from midweek Champions League exertions.
These are the games where easy points are lost, so Niko Kovac will have to be careful to avoid yet another slip-up against a weak team.
Niko Kovac confirmed that Arjen Robben would play no more part in this year’s games. The Dutchman has been suffering from thigh problems since the Benfica game, and the decision has been made to not risk him for the rest of 2018. It’s an unfortunate end to the year for Robben, who probably wanted to make the most of his final season at the club.
In addition to Robben, Corentin Tolisso and James Rodriguez remain injured and working on their comebacks. Yes, let me repeat that. JAMES RODRIGUEZ IS INJURED. Since there was some confusion about his status last week, it seemed appropriate to reiterate that fact.
As for the team, Kovac said that there would be some rotation, based on who was tired and who wasn’t. Considering that Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, and Joshua Kimmich seem to have Dragon Ball Z-style infinite energy reactors in them, don’t expect them to be rested. The center back pairing will likely be unchanged, so Mats Hummels should expect to ride the bench once again.
The two players who might get a start are Thiago Alcantara and Kingsley Coman, in the place of Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry. In this situation, Thiago would probably be the defensive midfielder, so Kimmich would play as more of a box-to-box to accommodate. It might be interesting to see how Thiago functions in the current system, given that he got injured before it was implemented.
Here’s how we think the team might line up:
Other options include:
- Resting Rafinha, moving Kimmich back to right back, playing a Thiago-Goretzka dual pivot.
- Resting Ribery, putting Coman at LW, Coman and Gnabry as interchangeable wingers.