After some dour Champions League action in midweek, it’s time for Bayern Munich to get back in the groove. The Bundesliga is extremely tight at the top, with only 2 points separating the Bavarians from tomorrow’s opponents — RB Leipzig. Julian Nagelsmann is one of only two coaches Flick has faced but failed to beat. This will be his first opportunity to get one over on one of Germany’s foremost managerial minds. The question is, will the team be up to the task?
From Hansi Flick’s pregame press conference, we know that Corentin Tolisso and Joshua Zirkzee are definitely out for the game. Alphonso Davies participated in team training, but it’s still too early for him to play. Joshua Kimmich is also progressing well with his return from injury, but Flick clearly implied that he would not be rushed back into the fray at this juncture.
So where does that leave Bayern in terms of the lineup? Well, Robert Lewandowski was rested against Atletico Madrid in midweek, so expect to see him up top alongside assistant coach Thomas Muller. The duo will be joined by Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry, who have been Bayern’s best winger pairing this season. Leroy Sane will likely reprise his joker role from earlier games — the former Manchester City winger has yet to show that he deserves a start in big games.
In midfield, Flick may finally give a chance to Marc Roca in the Bundesliga, pairing him alongside Leon Goretzka in the pivot. While some might expect a true DM like Javi Martinez to feature in light of Bayern’s defensive problems this season, recent games show that Bayern needs a midfield controller to set the tempo, which Roca does really well. Pairing him alongside Goretzka is the best option the coach has.
The backline seems a lot easier to predict. Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard are set to start at left-back and right-back respectively, with Niklas Sule and David Alaba the preferred center back pairing for the moment. Manuel Neuer, who was rested in midweek, will don the captain’s armband as he leads the team out in tomorrow’s topspiel.
So, without further ado, here’s how we think Bayern Munich will line up tomorrow:
- Javi Martinez instead of Marc Roca at DM.
- Jerome Boateng instead of Niklas Sule at CB.
- Leroy Sane instead of Serge Gnabry at RW.
Bild thinks that Javi and Boateng will play. Let's see how that goes.