As a tumultuous year comes to a close, Bayern Munich look to round out 2020 with a few more wins. Having topped their Champions League group, the last remaining hurdle for the Rekordmeister will be to end the year as the so-called “winter champions” — i.e. top of the table at the winter break. Union Berlin are up next on the list, with Hansi Flick coming into the game with a well-rested squad.
With the Bundesliga table as tight as ever at the top, dropping points is not an option.
As far as injuries go — Niklas Sule will be out due to a knock sustained against Lokomotiv. Meanwhile, Hansi Flick confirmed that Corentin Tolisso trained with the team and is an option to play tomorrow. Given how many games the Frenchman has missed, he’s probably not going to make anything more than a substitute appearance, but his return does bolster Bayern’s ranks for the remaining games of the year. Joshua Kimmich continues his Wolverine-esque return from injury — he’ll be ready to feature in a week or so.
With all that out of the way, let’s talk about the lineup. Robert Lewandowski has recovered from his midweek muscle issues — he starts up top with Thomas Muller tomorrow. They’re likely to be joined by Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry on the wings, given that both were rested against Lokomotiv in the Champions League. Hansi’s done a good job with rotation thus far, keeping injuries to a minimum. He deserves credit for the way he’s managed the team’s minutes.
In midfield, expect to see Leon Goretzka paired with Marc Roca. The Roca-retzka duo did exceptionally well against Lokomotiv in midweek, so the coach may feel confident about sending them out against a fast-paced attacking team like Union. In Kimmich’s absence, Roca provides the control and finesse that Bayern have sorely missed in recent weeks. Is he ready for a proper Bundesliga game? I certainly hope so.
Finally, the defense. Hansi Flick was coy on whether Alphonso Davies would start tomorrow, but I’ll go with my heart on this one and say the Canadian will start. David Alaba and Jerome Boateng are prime candidates for the center back positions, allowing Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez some rest. If Benjamin Pavard starts at right-back (which he’s likely to), then we might finally see the return of the treble-winning CB pairing from last season.
It’s not exactly the best possible defense Bayern can field, but hopefully the player’s familiarity with each other should ensure a smooth defensive game. If not, well there’s always Manuel Neuer.
Here’s what the lineup could look like:
- Lucas Hernandez in for Alphonso Davies at left-back.
Javi Martinez in for Marc Roca at DM.Apparently Javi is still injured.
- Leroy Sane in for Serge Gnabry on the wing. He’s not been at his best lately, so it’s unlikely to happen.