Bayern Munich will undoubtedly face a stern test when they face Greek side Olympiacos in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday. This will be the second time the two sides meet this year. After Niko Kovač’s sacking and the team’s disappointing performances of late, interim coach Hansi Flick will have his hands full with regards to getting a good result.
There is one significant advantage, however: the game will take place in the Allianz Arena. Yes, Bayern have shown that they are susceptible to poor results at home, but the onus will be on Bayern to come all guns blazing to remove doubt regarding their credentials as Champions League hopefuls. The team must also show up big-time, since fans and management alike have criticized the “lousy style of play” in recent games.
Apart from Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez, who are out with long-term injuries, everyone in the squad is fit and available for selection. Javi Martinez is back to full fitness, which is good news for the squad, who are facing a defensive crisis at the moment.
In his Champions League pre-match presser, Flick gave away some huge news regarding tomorrow’s squad in plan: the trio of Thomas Müller, Martinez and Joshua Kimmich will all start, with Javi in the central defense to acclimatize the team before facing Dortmund. Lewandowski will start up front, as usual, which is a no-brainer considering his incredible goal-scoring form, breaking records left and right.
On the flanks, the usual suspects for a starting spot are Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry, although we could also see any combination of Coutinho-Gnabry, Gnabry-Perisič or Coman-Perisič. It would be a huge surprise if Gnabry is benched though, because he’s been cooking up goals and assists like a sous-chef, especially in the UCL this season.
In midfield, expect to see a duo of Leon Goretzka and Thiago, the perfect foil to Olympiacos’ physical, gritty midfield, although Kimmich could equally start in midfield, having been performing below his usual standards at right-back. Corentin Tolisso is another strong candidate, and Flick confirmed in the presser that Javi will start in the central defense position.
In defence, the obvious candidates are Alaba at left-back, Pavard and Javi at center-back, and Kimmich at right-back, though things could be up for grabs at this point. We could see Davies get his fourth (consecutive!) start at left-back, we could have Lars Lukas Mai or Chris Richards get their first Champions League starts (which would be a huge boost to their confidence and careers) but which is probably unlikely, considering the need for good results at this juncture. Alaba could also potentially start at center-back if Davies gets a start, and that would push Pavard to right-back and consequently, Kimmich to the defensive midfield (yikes!!!!) but then let’s all be optimistic, shall we?
Without further ado, here’s how we think Bayern will line up against Olympiacos:
What are your lineup predictions? Let us know in the comments!