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Team news: How will Bayern Munich line up against Mainz 05?

Niko Kovac has virtually the entire squad at his disposal to play against a struggling Mainz 05. Could Coutinho make his first start?

FC Bayern Muenchen - Training Session Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern

Bayern Munich hopes to follow up the team’s first victory of the season, a 3-0 result against Schalke 04, with the first home win. Mainz 05 is just the team for that: the start of the season has been anything but a party for the Carnival club. Mainz was knocked out of the DFB-Pokal in the first round by 3.Liga side FC Kaiserslautern and has lost its first two Bundesliga games, dropping to last place with a -5 goal difference.

Team news: all hands on deck

Niko Kovac has virtually the entire squad to draw on for tomorrow’s clash. Only Fiete Arp is reportedly still sick. Leon Goretzka, who missed Bayern’s first two games on account of a bruised thigh, also rejoined the team for training this week and is a strong candidate for minutes in the midfield.

The most interesting option is of course Philippe Coutinho. Coutinho made his Bayern debut against Schalke last weekend. Having trained with the team now for several weeks, he may have the fitness level to make the starting lineup. Fellow newcomer Ivan Perisic has also reportedly been impressive in training. Could he start in place of Kingsley Coman or Serge Gnabry?

With Thiago back in the lineup after his curious strained neck last Saturday, at least we can theoretically count on Joshua Kimmich playing at right-back. That may squeeze Benjamin Pavard out of the lineup.

Without further ado, here are three BFW lineup predictions:

Phil Quinn

Fergus

John Dillon

Tell us how you think Kovac will set up the team!

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