Bayern Munich has started off with three wins out of three matches in the Bundesliga’s resumption and Hansi Flick has gotten his personnel decision’s spot on for each encounter. Of course, as it often seems to be the case, Bayern’s squad has been hampered with injuries most of this season, but Flick has made things work and they’re now seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table. He’s technically used three, separate starting lineups since the restart, but each of them only consisted of making one or two changes from the previous matches’s lineup. Thiago Alcantara, Kingsley Coman, Ivan Perisic, and Serge Gnabry have all been rotated in and out of the starting lineups for that matches against Union Berlin, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Dortmund.
As the English week comes to an end when Bayern play host to Fortuna Dusseldorf this weekend, kicker are reporting that Flick is only planning on making maybe 1 or 2 changes to the lineup. Thiago is still a no-go due to the adductor problem that he is currently experiencing that’s already kept him out of both the Frankfurt and Dortmund matches. He is, however, expected to be back for Bayern’s trip to face Bayer Leverkusen on June 6th as long as he doesn’t suffer any setbacks. Jerome Boateng came off limping late in the match against Dortmund and was replaced by Lucas Hernandez, but it’ understood that it was only slight muscular problems for Boateng, so he should be fine to play against Dusseldorf.
Where will Flick make the changes?
“Just don’t let up” is the motto for Bayern according to kicker, and it rings true. Despite a congested, truncated schedule, there haven’t been too many rotations or experiments from Flick and Bayern has taken maximum points. Still, though, three matches in the span of seven days is a difficult turnaround, even for top class professionals, so Flick will have to decide where, exactly, he might want to make a change or two.
Including the back five of Manuel Neuer, Alphonso Davies, David Alaba, Boateng, and Benjamin Pavard, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller have started all three matches thus far. Lewandowski has played every single minute and Boateng is the only defender who hasn’t. Kimmich, Goretzka, and Muller in the midfield have been absolutely integral to Bayern’s success and Flick doesn’t have many options for rotation in that regard. Realistically, he could bring in Javi Martinez for one game to act as a holding midfielder, it’s just a matter of what formation he’d go with and who else he’d deploy. It’s hard to keep Kimmich out of the lineup, but he literally set a record for the amount of distance covered in der Klassiker since the 2013/2014 season, so his legs might be a bit heavy at the moment.
13.73 - Joshua #Kimmich has run 13.73 kilometers in today's game against #BVB, setting a new record for a @FCBayernEN player since 2013-14, when tracking data were first measured. Powerhouse. #BVBFCB pic.twitter.com/yG58ayPdWd— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) May 26, 2020
Of course, Flick could also try deploying some fringe players like Joshua Zirkzee, Michael Cuisance, and Alvaro Odriozola, but the 8th consecutive Bundesliga title so close to being mathematically clinched, would it be the right time to roll the dice like that?
Muller played every minute of the past two matches while Gnabry, Coman, and Ivan Perisic have had periods of rest, so it could, perhaps, be time to give Muller a little bit of a rest. Is it also time to perhaps give Boateng a rest since he doesn’t seem able to last a full 90 minutes?
Here’s a few prospective lineup options for the Dusseldorf match with minimal rotations:
So much of this will just depend on where Flick feels he came make a change that won’t disrupt the positive football Bayern has been playing. It’s a balance he’ll have to strike with keeping continuity and making sure he rests legs where necessary to avoid any unwanted injuries with six Bundesliga matches remaining.
What changes, if any, would you make if you were Flick? Let us know in the comments section!