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Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich: Lineups, team news, Coutinho’s return, Thiago update, and more!

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Meanwhile, Alvaro Odriozola will finally get a start. What a world we live in.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Time really flies when you’re having fun. It feels like just yesterday that the Bundesliga came back from an excruciating break, and now the last matchday is already here. Bayern Munich have the chance to end the season with a near-perfect Ruckrunde — only Wolfsburg stand in their way.

Team news

Some good news on the injury front — Philippe Coutinho is finally back, and will be with the squad for the game. It’s probably still too early for him to start, but he’s a likely candidate for a substitute appearance. Niklas Sule is also doing well on his recovery, but Flick says it’s still to early for him to make a comeback. Thiago Alcantara, meanwhile, will have to sit this one out. The coach expects him to be available for the DFB Pokal final next week.

Let’s take a look at the lineup. No starting XI against Wolfsburg can be complete without the Wolf-slayer himself, Robert Lewandowski. The powerful Pole has already recorded his highest ever goal tally in a single season, but he’ll probably want a few more to close things out. Joining him will be his usual partner-in-crime, Thomas Muller. Having drawn a blank in his last couple of appearances, Muller will want to contribute with a couple of assists, hopefully putting his all-time assist record well clear of Kevin De Bruyne.

Given that there’s been no reports of new injuries, we can assume that the wings and midfield will remain unchanged. Hansi Flick will probably start with Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman out wide, and put Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in the middle of the park to keep things tight. Normally, this would be a good opportunity for Michael Cuisance or Javi Martinez to see some minutes, but the looming threat of the DFB Pokal final means the coach will want his preferred pairing building up their rhythm. Luckily, Flick has five substitutions available, he’s welcome to use all of them.

Finally, in defense — Real Madrid loanee Alvaro Odriozola is set to get his second (and last) start for Bayern Munich at right back, giving some much needed rest to Benjamin Pavard. Flick defended the Spaniard’s performances in his press conference, praising his professionalism. Hopefully, the player repays his coach’s faith in him by putting in a good performance against the Wolves. Alphonso Davies will return from his suspension and take his place at left back, while David Alaba and Jerome Boateng are the favorites to start at central defense. Manuel Neuer will replace Sven Ulreich at the keeper’s position, donning the captain’s armband in the meantime.

So, without further ado, here’s how the lineup should look like: