Isn’t it great to have football back? After dispatching Borussia Dortmund in midweek, Bayern Munich need only maintain a seven point lead at the top of the table to secure an eight consecutive title. Some people say that makes the league boring. We think those people are insufferable dum-dums and don’t listen to them.
This time, it’s Fortuna Dusseldorf who are on the chopping block. The Rhinelanders are one of several teams near the bottom of the table hoping to avoid relegation, so they’re likely to come at Bayern with all they’ve got. So how will Hansi Flick respond?
Injury-wise, nothing has really gotten better for Bayern. Thiago Alcantara has resumed individual training but is not yet fit enough for this game, while Corentin Tolisso and Philippe Coutinho remained sidelined by their respective ankle injuries. Niklas Süle is also working individually on his comeback, but it’s too early to expect to see him on the pitch.
Let’s talk about the lineup. Hansi Flick is unlikely to make major alterations to his preferred XI that beat Dortmund. Either Serge Gnabry or Kingsley Coman will likely be rested in favor of Ivan Perisic, and Gnabry is the likelier candidate, since Coman was subbed off versus BVB. Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller will almost certainly start up top — sorry Arp and Zee fans.
Midfield is much the same story: expect Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka to line up for the third game in a row. There’s the tiniest chance that Michael Cuisance could get a start, but it’s very unlikely. You’re probably better off buying lottery tickets.
Finally, the defense. This is where the biggest changes are possible. Lucas Hernandez has been aching for a start since returning from injury, and a game against Fortuna would be the perfect opportunity to bring him up to speed. Flick has the option of benching either David Alaba or Alphonso Davies to avoid an overload of left-footers in defense, but it’s more likely that the Frenchman will come in for Jerome Boateng, who seems like he could use a bit of rest. Benjamin Pavard, meanwhile, will reprise his role at right-back.
So here’s how we think Bayern could line up:
Note: An earlier lineup picture showed Gnabry on the right instead of Coman, contradicting the text of the article. This was a mistake and has now been corrected. Gnabry is more likely to be rested than Coman. — INNN