The Bundesliga’s 58th season will begin on Friday, and it will likely be the craziest we have ever seen. Less than five weeks after Bayern Munich were crowned Champions of Europe, they will begin their treble defense.
Due to a late start and an early ending caused by Euro 2021, all 34 rounds of the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal in its entirety will happen in a span of just 246 days. Players on clubs competing in all three competitions — Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League — who are also representing their national team, will have up to 27 English weeks in this span. The winter break, which is usually used to recuperate and regenerate for the rest of the season, will also be shortened to only 11 days.
Due to the number of games in a short period of time, coaches will have two choices according to RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann. In an article in kicker, he said, “You have to come to a decision: Do you want to forgo quality and train a little less in order to be healthier over the year or do you try to set your roster in a way that allows you to still train normally. At the end of the year we will see who chose correctly — and who will probably do something else in the future.”
For Bayern, one expert believes that rotation is the way to go. Ingo Froböse, professor of Prevention and Rehabilitation at the German Sport University in Cologne, had this advice for the Rekordmeister (SportBild print edition): “Hansi Flick must play Joshua Zirkzee or Jann-Fiete Arp against Mainz or Augsburg and leave Lewandowski on the bench if he wants to be able to play his top striker at the end of the season.”
I believe this is why Bayern’s front office is still working so hard to bring in more players before the transfer window closes. The depth of Bayern’s roster and Flick’s lineup choices will have a profound impact on the upcoming season. Luckily, Bayern have a second team that just won the 3.Liga to work into the lineup when needed. These young players know what it takes to win. Bayern will also be able to get the future stars some meaningful first-team minutes. A rotation will likely have the best short-term and long-term outcomes for a team like Bayern.
So many games in such a short window of time will be physically demanding for the team, especially for the players who earn international call-ups. However, if the team follows Froböse’s advice and sits Lewy and potentially other starters against inferior opponents, the starting players and staff will need to be extra focused for these games, so as not to underestimate their opponents. Teams like Dortmund and Leipzig will be looking to capitalize on this crazy season anyway they can. Despite the need to rest top performers, Bayern cannot afford to drop points, especially in games against teams in the bottom half.
What strategy would you recommend to Hansi to get the best results this season?