After the most incredible start ever, Hansi Flick has encountered his first crisis at Bayern Munich. Two losses against Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach have tarnished the interim coach’s unblemished start, and now Bayern stand to face José Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur, who have been on a strong run of form lately.
Given that both teams are only playing for pride at this point, will Flick opt to drop some his starters in favor of a more experimental setup? Or will the need for a surefire win outweigh such concerns? Let’s take a look.
Hansi Flick has a relatively full squad, if you discount Bayern’s long-term convalescents, Niklas Süle, Lucas Hernandez, and Fiete Arp. Michael Cuisance was ruled out a few days ago with an ankle injury, and Flick revealed at the press conference that Corentin Tolisso would not be fit to play. He went down with a minor muscle injury in Mönchengladbach.
Bayern’s makeshift defense is all but certain to feature Jerome Boateng, the only natural center-back left standing. David Alaba has performed impeccably as his partner, leaving Alphonso Davies to man the left flank with his frightening pace. Benjamin Pavard was spared against Gladbach, so he will presumably play on the right. Neuer, of course, is expected to start in goal.
Since Tolisso is out, that leaves Joshua Kimmich, Javi Martinez, Leon Goretzka, and Thiago as the primary candidates for the central midfield. Kimmich seems all but certain to start of the four of them. Javi may well sit after his dreadful performance against Gladbach.
On offense, Lewandowski will be supported by Thomas Müller, who spoke at the pre-game press conference. Some combination of Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, and Coutinho will probably support him.
Of course, there are several youth players who have been practicing with the senior team. If Flick decides to match José Mourinho’s promise to play youth players in this glorified exhibition, he could draw on Lars Lukas Mai, Sarpreet Singh, or Joshua Zirkzee.
Without further ado, here are three predicted lineups: