It’s only Bundesliga matchday 4 and we’ve already encountered our first big game of the season. Bayern Munich take on RB Leipzig in a game that could have immense repercussions for league title — and Julian Nagelsmann will surely be plotting something nefarious.
So what can Niko Kovac do to counter RB Leizpig in their own home? Quite a lot, actually.
Bayern Munich will be without Leon Goretzka for the game — the player had to undergo surgery for a thigh bruise and will be out for some time. While that’s only one missing player (that we know of), Goretzka’s absence will surely be felt by the team.
Now, if you want to read about how Bayern Munich SHOULD line up against RB Leipzig, we’ve got you covered. Unfortunately, things aren’t actually so clear-cut, so the question of how Kovac WILL line up the team is still up for debate.
In attack, we will likely see the familiar trio of Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman, and Serge Gnabry, supported by Thomas Muller. Philippe Coutinho did return late from international duty and South Americans are generally rested following long trips out of Europe, so he’s unlikely to start. However, there’s still a possibility — Kovac mentioned that he would decide after the final training session.
The real question is, if Muller does play, will he be deployed as a second striker playing behind Lewandowski (his preferred position) or as a right central midfielder (like he has been playing so far this season)? His positioning will directly affect the two others Kovac chooses in midfield — most likely to be Thiago Alcantara and Corentin Tolisso.
In defense, we’re probably going to see David Alaba at left back, a central defensive duo of Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Sule, and Joshua Kimmich at right back. It will be fascinating to see how Hernandez deals with Leipzig’s press — they play far more aggressively than teams do in La Liga, and Nagelsmann is reportedly planning a a very high press using Leipzig’s forwards.
So, without further ado, here are our predictions:
Note: We really hope that Kovac doesn’t use Chuck’s lineup.