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The Bundesliga XI to take down Bayern Munich: Pulisic, Reus, and more!

Bayer Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich predicted Borussia Dortmund would win the league, but we think it might take an all-star group to take down Die Roten this year.

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Bayer Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich created a little bit of a buzz when he predicted (again) that Borussia Dortmund would be the squad to end Die Roten’s run of German dominance.

As we detailed here, Die Werkself’s head man intentionally - or unintentionally - may have lit a fire under his team by not picking the young and aggressive group to play the role of “Kingslayer.” In truth, there are a few teams that have the capability to at least push Bayern this season including Dortmund, Leverkusen, Schalke 04, and RB Leipzig, but in reality, Die Roten is still a heavy favorite to capture a seventh consecutive crown

It remains to be seen if any of those aforementioned squads can put forth the kind of effort it takes to dethrone Bayern over the course of an entire season. That kind of got the wheels spinning a bit as to what it might look like to assemble a league-wide Bundesliga Starting XI capable of taking down the Bavarians. Could this lineup below do it? I’m not so sure, but it would be fun to watch.


  • 4-1-4-1


  • Ralf Fahrmann (Schalke 04)

Peter Gulasci (RB Leipzig) and Roman Burki (Borussia Dortmund) received consideration here, but we went with Fahrmann after his superb 2017-2018 helped carry Schalke to a second place finish and a berth in the Champions League.

Center Backs

  • Naldo (Schalke 04); Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen) received a lot of consideration, but Naldo’s set piece potential and the overall experience of the Ginter/Naldo duo won out. Holger Badstuber (VfB Stuttgart), Willi Orban (RB Leipzig), and Abdou Diallo (Borussia Dortmund) also warranted a look as well.

Outside backs

The selection of Max over Marvin Plattenhardt was difficult but I think Max offers a little more offensively to help pressure the Bayern defensive corps. Nico Schulz (Hoffenheim) was also heavily considered. Obviously Jonas Hector (FC Köln) would have been a pick, but the Billy Goats are currently toiling away in relegation. At right back, Mitchell Weiser (Bayer Leverkusen) was narrowly left off in favor of Kaderabek, while Lars Bender’s (Bayer Leverkusen) versatility also almost earned him a nod and Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt) was also in the mix.

Defensive midfielder

Florian Grillitsch would be a key in getting physical with the Bayer players from the pivot.
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  • Florian Grillitsch (Hoffenheim)

Grillitsch brings a bit of a physical, strong-tackling, defensive mindset with some offensive capability to the position. Julian Wiegl (Borussia Dortmund) was in the running, but Grillitsch offered a more complete skill-set. Thomas Delaney (Borussia Dortmund) and Charles Aranguiz (Bayer Leverkusen) were also in the running as well as they offered a similar adaptability to Grillitsch with their respective ability to shift and move from an offensive position to a defensive alignment.


  • Ante Rebić (Eintracht Frankfurt) - Left Wing; Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen) - Right Wing

Surprisingly this was the most difficult selection. Rebić appears to be Bayern’s kryptonite, so his inclusion at left wing was a must, while Brandt appears to be on the cusp of stardom. The toughest omission was Brandt’s teammate Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen), who was just ousted by Rebić based on past performance against Bayern (still, though, Bailey appears headed for a world class career). Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach) was also considered, but his electric play is only matched by his inconsistency (which we hope he can fix); while Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig) was also in the mix.

Attacking midfielders

  • Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund); Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)

Reus was a no-brainer and is likely the top player in the Bundesliga not currently on Bayern, while Pulisic brings pace and creativity. His play making ability is enough to make an attacking partnership with Reus work. Lars Stindl (Borussia Monchengladbach) is coming off of an injury and would have been in the running otherwise. This position represented a bit of a gamble because both players are so attack-mined, but I would be hoping the offensive creativity each possesses would be able to offset the lack of defensive focus.


  • Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)

This was another competitive spot given Werner’s underwhelming performance at the World Cup. We still like the potential of Werner and feel like he possesses the kind of pace to give Bayern some issues. Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart), Nils Petersen (SC Freiburg), Kevin Volland (Bayer Leverkusen), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), and Mark Uth (Schalke 04) were all considered but we went with youth and hunger over veteran guile.

Final XI


Look, even with this lineup Team “FC Dynamo Smithstock” is up against a juggernaut. We’re going to try and use an overwhelming attack to keep constant pressure on the Bayern defenders and hopefully catch Bayern off-balance with our pace in the counter attack game.

My concern is that the back four just wont be defensive enough to prevent Bayern from winning a shoot out. It would have been EASY to pick a Starting XI to sit back, park the bus, and hope for one or two counter attacks to pay off, but why make it boring. If I am going down with this group, we are going to go down in exciting fashion.

If you were playing Bundesliga GM, who would be on your squad to take down Niko Kovac and his six-time champions? Do you think this squad can take beat Bayern? Comment below!


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