clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bayern Munich vs Red Star: Lineups, team news, last-minute updates, and more!

Everything you need to know ahead of Bayern Munich’s Champions League opener, all in one place.

FC Bayern Muenchen Training And Press Conference Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Bongarts/Getty Images

Well the Champions League is finally back, and Bayern Munich face off against FK Crvena zvezda (or Red Star, if you want to call it that — just don’t call it Red Star Belgrade) in the opening match of the group stage. As far as Niko Kovac is concerned, he is expected to win every game in the group stages without exception — but Red Star could have some surprises in store.

Team news

Bayern Munich have two injuries heading into the game — Leon Goretzka (thigh) and David Alaba (torn muscle). Goretzka’s absence is unfortunate, but Corentin Tolisso can cover for him. However, David Alaba’s injury might be harder to overcome.

Anyway, let’s start from the top. Robert Lewandowski will surely lead the lineup — don’t expect an Arp cameo any time soon. He should be joined by Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry on the left and right flanks respectively, although there is a small chance that one of them may sit this one out in favor of Croatian veteran Ivan Perisic. With the injury record of Bayern’s wingers and the games coming thick and fast, Kovac will want to begin rotating soon.

Now, here’s the interesting bit. During the pregame interview, the coach was asked about Philippe Coutinho. Kovac didn’t confirm that he would play, but he did go on to say that the Brazilian’s preferred was the #10 spot, and that’s where he would be presented if he did play. This essentially confirms that Coutinho will start against Crvena zvezda, and in addition it seems to imply the death of the 4-3-3. Both Thomas Muller and Philippe Coutinho have struggled in a 3-man midfield, so the switch back to the usual midfield should benefit them both.

In midfield, expect a dual pivot of Thiago Alcantara and Corentin Tolisso. Tolisso came on against RB Leipzig on the weekend but was unable to guide the Bavarians to victory. In Leon Goretzka’s absence, the Frenchman really needs to show strong performances and remind us why Bayern spent over 40 million euros on him.

Finally, we have the defense. According to the coach, Alphonso Davies IS an option at left back, but it’s a bit early for the young Canadian to play there in a Champions League fixture. Therefore, Lucas Hernandez should reprise his role as Bayern’s LB, and the Frenchman will want to make amends for his poor performance against RB Leipzig on the weekend.

With Lucas starting at fullback, Kovac will have to make a decision about the rest of the defense. Jerome Boateng received high praise during the coach’s press conference, so we assume he will get the start once again. Niklas Sule is also the most likely candidate to partner him, leaving the right back position for Benjamin Pavard or Joshua Kimmich. We at BFW hope the Kimmich gets the nod for this one — no more midfielder Kimmich, please.

Without further ado, here’s how we think the team will line up:

Wanna know more about Bayern Munich in the Champions League? Check out the rest of our coverage on Bavarian Football Works!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bavarian Football Works Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Bayern Munich news from Bavarian Football Works