The international break literally just ended, and club football has wasted no time getting back up and running. As a symptom of the fixture congestion this season, Bayern Munich have to face Duren in the first round of the DFB Pokal tomorrow, weeks after every other team played their first rounds.
The fixture was rescheduled for Bayern’s benefit to all the team more rest after winning the Champions League, which is the kind of gesture you appreciate from the authorities and Duren. However, the time has finally come to face the men from the west, and Hansi Flick has to do it without any of his international players. How will he fare?
Even though he has a lot of players missing, the squad available to Hansi Flick is far from lackluster. While Tanguay Nianzou and Leroy Sane continue their recovery from their respect injuries, Bayern’s deadline day rush has ensured that the coach has plenty of talent to call upon in his hour of need.
So how will the team line up? Well starting up top is the one true king, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. Replacing that bum Robert Lewandowski, Bayern’s biggest ever star is set to make his debut against the illustrious Duren. He will be accompanied by Thomas Muller at the second striker position, who is likely to don the captain's armband as the senior-most player on the team.
The wings will likely be manned by Douglas Costa and Jamal Musiala, giving Hansi a fair mix of youth and experience out wide. Costa is well-acquanited with Bayern’s playing style and what is expected of him, so playing with him could be valuable experience for the young Musiala to hone his own craft and begin developing into a future first team player.
The midfield is a far more complicated issue. New arrival Marc Roca is set to make his debut tomorrow, possibly alongside the highly rated youth star Angelo Stiller. This info is based on what journalists have observed Hansi Flick use in training the past few days, so that's why we think it'll be Stiller in the middle instead of someone like Javi Martinez or one of the international players. Hansi Flick’s options are limited, since most of his team was called up to international duty - perhaps if Michael Cuisnace were still here, he could have started instead of Stiller. Not that we're complaining.
Finally, what about the defense? Well it's going to be completely untested, which is never a good thing. Alphonso Davies is set to start at left back, which, makes us hope that he and Costa can combine in the final third to put the fear of god in the Duren defense. With Chris Richards reportedly suffering muscular issues, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez are set to pair up at center back. Their wealth of experience will be invaluable to cover for the young midfield Hansi plans to use. Meanwhile, new singing Bouna Sarr is set to debut at right-back, in place of Benjamin Pavard.
Rounding out the lineup is the young Alexander Nubel, who comes in for Manuel Neuer. Nubel will find minutes very hard to come by this season, so let's hope things go smoothly for him tomorrow.
All of this info is based on statements made by Hansi Flick in his press conference, as well as inference by German journalists who have access to Bayern’s training. Here's a full image of tomorrow's lineup, courtesy of Sky's Torben Hoffmann:
Check out what Duren’s sporting director said about the upcoming game:
Dirk Ruhrig (FC Düren sporting director) on tomorrow's game against Bayern: "We want to do better than Schalke and Barcelona" [Bild]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 14, 2020