Bayern Munich have won the Bundesliga — but that doesn’t mean that proceedings have stopped. There are still two more games to go in the league, plus the final of the DFB Pokal and the remainder of the Champions League. This makes the final two games of the Bundesliga important in their own way.
Hansi Flick will probably be looking forward to those latter competitions, so he’ll want to use these games as an opportunity to fine-tune his team for knockout games. Streich’s Freiburg is a good team to match up against in that regard. Meanwhile, a couple of players on the squad happen to be chasing records. There might not be a title to play for, but there’s plenty to watch as Bayern Munich take to the field against Freiburg.
Things remain mixed on the injury front. Philippe Coutinho and Niklas Süle have finally returned to team training, with the Brazilian more likely to make an appearance. However, in his press conference, Flick confirmed that Serge Gnabry, Ivan Perisic, and most importantly David Alaba will all miss the game. This means that there will be a ton of changes in Bayern’s front and backline.
So, the lineup. We know that Robert Lewandowski will start up top, with Thomas Müller likely behind him. Given that Thiago Alcantara is still out due to an injury, it’s there’s no chance that Hansi Flick can opt for a 4-3-3 with Leon Goretzka at attacking midfield. This means that Philippe Coutinho and Kingsley Coman are the most likely wingers for tomorrow’s formation, and the attack will be supported by a dual-pivot of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka.
In defense, well there’s one big hiccup — Alphonso Davies is suspended. This means that Bayern are only left with Lucas Hernandez to start at left-back. This necessitates a complete rethink of the entire defense. The most likely scenario is that Alvaro Odriozola gets a start at right back, allowing Benjamin Pavard to move to center back and partner with Jerome Boateng. There’s a tiny chance that Flick might call up someone from the second team — Chris Richards, maybe? However, it’s pretty unlikely that any youngster will start tomorrow. That doesn’t seem like a very Flick-esque way of doing things.
However, there’s a chance Hansi might be thinking five parallel universes ahead of us. SPORT1 journalist Florian Plettenberg confirmed on Twitter that Sven Ulreich would start tomorrow.
❗️Nice reward from Hansi #Flick: Sven Ulreich will replace Manuel Neuer against @scfreiburg tomorrow. Today he said about Ulreich: „He is doing a fantastic job.“ @SPORT1— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) June 19, 2020
This might mean that Flick plans to put Manuel Neuer in defense. Or even midfield. Could this be the beginning of a new era? Is this how the Neuer-Nubel feud will be settled next season? We don’t know, but for now, here’s a tentative lineup image that assumes Neuer is just being rested: