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Bayern Munich vs Union Berlin: Lineups, team news and more! (Updated!)

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After a tense 3-2 win over Olympiacos in the Champions League, Bayern will hope to bounce back with a more convincing performance.

Olympiacos FC v Bayern Muenchen: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Bayern Munich currently sit third place in this year’s unpredictable Bundesliga after a draw and a loss in their last 2 games. However, the current champions can catapult into first place provided they win against Union Berlin this weekend and other results go their way. Therefore, nothing other than 3 points will be satisfactory for the Bavarians — especially so, considering that Union currently lie 14th in the table and are tipped by many for relegation.

As it currently stands, Union are doing a much better job than Bayern comparing their respective quality. While Union didn’t have a great start to their campaign, they’ve experienced an upturn in form, starting with a fabulous 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund. Their recent success has been shown in the form of four points in their last three games, the same total Bayern has from their own last three games. All of this makes for a potentially closer tie than many may expect and Bayern must not get complacent against a team that many would deem to be vastly inferior to themselves.

Team news

Bayern come into this fixture missing key personnel, especially in the heart of the back line. Niklas Süle, who sadly tore his ACL, won’t be back in action for at least 8 months. Moreover, Bayern’s other starting center-back, Lucas Hernandez, was injured on Tuesday in Greece and won’t be playing for the remainder of 2019.

In addition, Fiete Arp continues his recovery after an unfortunate wrist injury. To make matters even worse for Bayern’s defender crisis, Bayern’s now backup CB, Lars Lukas Mai, recently has injured his knee and missed 2 games. That makes him a large doubt for Saturday’s game. In good news, though, Michael Cuisanse finally rejoined training after recovering from a groin problem.

Now everything else is out of the way, onto the lineups. Robert Lewandowski is a sure-fire starter, having scored 12 goals in 8 BL games, with an additional 2 against Olympiacos. Besides, there really aren’t any viable other options for striker position since Arp is injured and Bayern do not have another backup. Backing Bayern’s talisman will likely be a combination of Ivan Perisic and Kingsley Coman. While Gnabry could be played in place of one of those two, the German suffered some discomfort in Greece and has started four games in a row. Kovac indicated at the press conference that he was still not entirely fit.

The midfielder’s that Niko Kovac deploys are the hardest to predict as there are many options for just three positions. At the number 10 role, recent history would suggest another start for Phillipe Coutinho, given that the Brazilian has started Bayern’s last seven games at CAM. Yet, since Thomas Müller continues to perform when given minutes and just delivered a good performance in the CL, there’s no telling which play-maker will begin the match. Perhaps, we could even see both players on the field and Coutinho manning the left-wing role again. Who knows?

As for the dual pivot, Thiago Alcantara will likely get the nod. His partner on the other hand, could feasibly be any of Javi Martinez, Leon Goretzka or Corentin Tolliso. A Martinez start, however, is unlikely: like Gnabry, he also is still dealing with the lingering effects of his muscular injury in Piraeus. It’s anyone’s guess as to if Tolliso or Goretzka starts.

In the defense, Bayern don’t have many options meaning a back 4 of David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Benjamin Pavard and Joshua Kimmich is likely. Although, there’s always the possibility that Martinez is deployed at CB and Alphonso Davies at left-back. Finally, at goal-keeper, Bayern’s captain Manuel Neuer will get the start. As a result, here’s how some of BFW’s writers think Bayern will line up:

Ineednoname

Joshua Tobolt

John Dillon


Squad update!

Bayern has just released the following information:

In addition to Michael Cuisance, both Serge Gnabry and Lukas Mai are in the squad for Union Berlin. Javi Martinez, however, like Lucas Hernandez, Niklas Süle, and Fiete Arp, is not fit.