Now that Borussia Dortmund is out of the way, it’s time for Bayern Munich to go forth and drop points against Dusseldorf. The opponents may have nine players missing due to injury, but that simply makes this a prime candidate for a slip-up game. With just a one point lead at the top of the table, Niko Kovac knows that every game from here on out is a must-win.
So, what’s he got in store?
Lets start with the absentees. Arjen Robben is still injured, and no one knows what’s going on with him. Franck Ribery was ill, and will not be able to play against Dusseldorf. Corentin Tolisso still isn’t ready for actual time on the pitch, and following an injury scare in midweek, it’s likely that the coach will keep him on the sidelines for this one. At least there’s some good news — Alphonso Davies is back from injury.
Could he get his first start for the Bavarians? Probably not. Even though it’s just Dusseldorf, Niko Kovac will probably field a strong lineup. Robert Lewandowski will probably start up front, flanked by Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry. What a game it would be if Coman assisted Lewy.
In attacking midfield, we’ll probably see Thomas Muller, even though James Rodriguez is available. Kovac hasn’t actually indicated a preference one way or the other, but Muller has proven time and time again how important he is to the team.
Unlike Dortmund, Dusseldorf will probably sit back, so Leon Goretzka is the man expected to partner Thiago in central midfield. Goretzka’s dynamism and aerial abilities will be key to breaking down Dusseldorf, who are undoubtedly going to set up very defensively.
In defense, there probably won’t be any surprises — expect to see David Alaba, Mats Hummels, Niklas Sule, and Joshua Kimmich line up in that order. There is a chance that Jerome Boateng might play, but without the Champions League, fixtures are spread out to the point that Kovac doesn’t need to worry about his player’s fatigue levels too much.
With all that out of the way, here’s how we think Bayern Munich will line up against Dusseldorf: