It’s crunch time now. After a turbulent season, Bayern Munich need a result against Eintracht Frankfurt to clinch the Bundesliga title. A draw will do, but this doesn’t seem like a game that will end in a draw — Frankfurt are fighting tooth and nail to secure a place in the Champions League this season, and they will give it everything they’ve got.
Team News: Neuer and James out
Bayern have two confirmed injuries heading into the game — James Rodriguez and Manuel Neuer. Both players were supposed to be fit by now, but their calf injuries continue to linger and they will miss the final game of the Bundesliga campaign.
The absences won’t make much of a difference to Niko Kovac, however — he has a lineup more or less set in stone, and it isn’t going to change much for such a big game. The attack will consist of Kingsley Coman on the left, Serge Gnabry on the right, and the duo of Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski playing through the middle. Kovac has the option to sub on a fresh Arjen Robben or Franck Ribery if things aren’t going our way, but hopefully it doesn’t come to that — preferably they can make a final appearance if Bayern has a comfortable lead.
The midfield is the only potential doubt. Thiago Alcantara is a guaranteed starter, but the question is whether Javi Martinez or Leon Goretzka will line up alongside him. The tactics Kovac employs differ depending on which one plays — if it’s Javi, then Thiago moves forward and acts as a true central midfielder, if it’s Leon, then Thiago drops back to be the DM shielding the defense. Kovac has preferred Javi in the big games so far this season — but given his recent injury and Goretzka’s excellent performance against Leipzig, it’s possible that the coach may give the younger player a nod.
In defense, there will be no surprises. David Alaba, Mats Hummels, Niklas Süle, and Joshua Kimmich will line up in their usual positions, and Sven Ulreich will cover for Neuer at the keeper’s position. It is interesting to note how settled Bayern have become this season, given how chaotic things were during the Autumn slump.
Without further ado, here’s how we think Bayern will line up tomorrow:
In other news, Eintracht will be without Sebastian Rode — who sadly suffered a devastating knee injury in their final match against Chelsea — but Sebastien Haller is back in the lineup. That’s a mixed bag for them, but Luka Jovic is much more dangerous when he plays with Haller. Bayern Munich will need to be wary: this is the last game where you want to get caught off-guard.
According to Torben Hoffman of Sky, Manuel Neuer, James Rodriguez, Corentin Tolisso, and Javi Martinez were all missing from the team hotel ahead of tomorrow’s game. Javi and Tolisso are a surprise, they should have been fit.