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Weekend warm-up: Bad luck for Bayern Munich’s Chris Richards; Angelo Stiller to start?; Cobra Kai renewed; Bundesliga predictions; and MORE!

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Are you ready for Bayern Munich’s upcoming games in the DFB-Pokal and Bundesliga? We are.

Bayern Muenchen II v Tuerkguecue Muenchen - 3. Liga Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

To accommodate the DFB-Pokal match against FC Duren, you are getting the weekend warm-up a day early.

If there is any player who has to be bummed out today, it must be Bayern Munich’s Chris Richards. The prodigious talent was likely set to get another start, but is sidelined with a calf injury.

While the injury is not expected to keep him out for long, the timing of it is seriously unfortunate as Richards was set to have a good opportunity to prove himself as a starter today against FC Düren. While his place in the starting XI was no sure thing, it was widely expected that Hansi Flick was going to give the 20-year-old defender another good opportunity to show his talent in a first-team environment.

Hopefully Richards can heal quickly and return to full strength. Even with Bayern Munich’s newfound depth along the back-line, Richards’ ability to shift between center-back and right-back makes him an invaluable piece to have on the roster with the season’s schedule being so condensed.


Stiller time?

While Richards’ bad luck will keep him out of the lineup, the busy international break and daunting slate of games upcoming on the schedule might have opened a door for Bayern Munich II defensive midfielder Angelo Stiller to make his season debut with the first team. Multiple outlets are predicting a start for Stiller, which would be tremendous for the youngster.

The 19-year-old Munich native is highly-regarded and has proven himself as a key piece in the Bayern Munich II lineup. Known for his passing ability and defensive presence in the midfield, Stiller is considered one of the better prospects within the club.

Stiller, however, plays a position that is once again a bit overcrowded. With Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso, and Marc Roca all young and extremely talented, Stiller has a long way to go in breaking through the first-team on a permanent basis. When factoring in the veteran presence of Javi Martinez and versatile youngster Tanguy Nianzou (currently injured), it becomes very hard to see a first-team pathway for Stiller at Bayern Munich. Because of that logjam, Stiller has become quite popular, especially as a potential acquisition for Wolverhampton. Stiller’s contract expires next June, so Bayern Munich will likely have make a key decision on the player shortly.

Hopefully Stiller can show himself well if given the opportunity. It is always exciting to see a young player get a chance to play under the bright lights of first-team football.


Sweep the leg

The announcement that Cobra Kai was picked up for another season was great news (to me anyway!). The third season is set to premiere in January, but Netflix has already signed a deal to pickup for the series for a fourth season and I could not be more excited (for a show anyway).

I would (once again) implore anyone who grew up in the 80s — or at least appreciates the greatness of the 80s — to give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed. And if you are looking for a little preview of the new season, check this out.


A look back: True Detective

If you have “binged out” out of everything in your cue and are in need of something, circle back to season one of HBO’s True Detective. A phenomenon when initially released, the Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey-led crime drama was one of the best seasons of television that I can remember.

Deep, dark, and meme-able beyond belief, True Detective season one was a tremendous ride from start to finish. Whether it was McConaughey chain-smoking, crushing Lone Star beer, or waxing philosophical about the wonders of the universe or Harrelson perfectly capturing a complex and confused middle-aged cop, the season checks off all of the boxes for watch-ability and entertainment. And I’ll say, episode four, with its roughly six-minute tracking shot, is one of my favorite episodes of any show ever.

Because the series is an anthology, the greatness of season one did not carry over to season two. The second season featured a good, new cast (Colin Farrell brought back the bolo tie!), but a horrible storyline. Season three, however, recaptured some of the magic of season one as Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff starred in a much more compelling story and were terrific within their roles.


Predictions

We are going to knockout both the DFB-Pokal and Bundesliga with this post. Let’s see if the BFW crew can keep things headed in the right direction.

DFB-Pokal

With such a heavy schedule and in a game that is expected to see a lot of squad rotation, it seems unwise to think that Bayern Munich will breeze past anyone. We’ve seen the Bavarians get tested early in the DFB-Pokal before and it could very well happen again if there is a lack of focus in the ranks.

In this situation, however, it is hard to think we’ll see Bayern Munich waver. Hansi Flick will undoubtedly have his squad prepared and the new players who are reportedly going to debut, will want to make a strong impression.

This should give the Bavarian newbs like Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Marc Roca, Bouna Sarr, and Douglas Costa a chance to make a strong impression and could also be a chance for Stiller (as mentioned above) to prove himself with the first-team.

It will not always be pretty with so many new players trying to get used to each other, but Bayern Munich’s superior athleticism will win out.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 5-0 1. FC Düren

Bundesliga

Could the overall arduous schedule and the looming Champions League showdown against Atletico Madrid act as a distraction against newly-promoted Arminia Bielefeld? Sure, that could happen, but I am banking on Flick’s ability to manage this process with aplomb. While Arminia Bielefeld has proven to be quite competitive in the Bundesliga so far, Bayern Munich has enough talent to overcome “looking ahead” or even feeling a bit gassed physically. The importance of how Flick plots out a plan to manage this busy schedule cannot be overstated. Maybe more than any player, Flick’s vision for the near-future is going have a major impact on the squad’s overall performance and also just how fresh and effective his roster remains through this grind.

Prediction: Arminia Bielefeld 0-3 Bayern Munich

Now on to our guest prognosticator:

Tom Adams: Arminia Bielefeld is no roll over by any stretch of the imagination. Uwe Neuhaus’ side has shown in their opening three Bundesliga matches that they are a physically strong, well-disciplined, and hard-working outfit that knows how to keep matches tight. Their physicality and work rate is typified by midfield work horses Manuel Prietl and Marcel Hartel, the latter of which leads the league in distance covered thus far. Fabian Klos has also proved a handful in his opening three matches up top and the German leads the league in aerial duels won, so he’ll certainly be a nuisance for Bayern’s back line. This will be no easy task for Flick and company and the margin for error will be incredibly small.

Prediction: Arminia Bielefeld 1-2 Bayern Munich


The rest of the Bundesliga picks are as follows:

Last Bundesliga match day record: 6-3

Overall record: 11-17*

Guest predictors of Bayern Munich games: 5-0 (?!)*

(*includes DFL-Supercup and DFB-Pokal)