On the eve of an international break, Bayern Munich visits the Mercedes-Benz Arena to face Stuttgart for its first game since the close of the summer transfer window. Since a ton of his players have been called up to represent their national teams, coach Niko Kovac might have to make the difficult choice of resting some players in order to keep them fresh. After all, once the break is over, Bayern face a much more difficult game against Bayer Leverkusen in September.
Everyone is fit ... except for Kingsley Coman. *sad kazoo noise*
Okay, so that means we have a lot to think about. In attack, you can bet that Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller will start. Kicker seems to think that Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery will start on the wings, but there is really no reason why Kovac wouldn’t decide to go for James Rodriguez and/or Serge Gnabry instead.
In midfield, don’t expect anyone other than Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez to start. Once again, there’s no real indication that Kovac won’t go for Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso, or Renato Sanches, but it’s just not very likely.
In defense, Mats Hummels is basically guarantee to start — there’s no way that the coach can bench him for two games in a row. David Alaba, Joshua Kimmich, and Manuel Neuer are all surefire starters as well. The question is whether it will be Jerome Boateng or Niklas Sule in the other center back spot. I’m currently leaning toward Sule, as he has played every game under Kovac so far, and could need a rest.
So, how do we think Bayern will line up against Stuttgart? Here are some predictions from the BFW staff ...