The UEFA Super Cup is contested between the winner of the Champions League and the Europa League. It's been a long time since Bayern Munich contested this fixture. The last time the Bavarians were here, it was Pep Guardiola's debut game against Chelsea. That feels like a different era now, but a number of players who played that game are still with us today.
Unlike 2013, this Super Cup isn't meant to be the start of a new era at Bayern. Hansi Flick, the man who won the treble last season, has the chance to do something Jupl never had -- to follow up on his success. This Super Cup is meant to be a continuation of last season’s dominance. Can the team pull it off?
Aside from Tanguay Nianzou (thigh) and Kingsley Coman (quarantine), Bayern Munich have a full squad heading to Lisbon. David Alaba has recovered from the muscular problem that kept him out against Schalke, while Flick confirmed that Robert Lewandowski is fit and ready to play. Even Javi Martinez, who was supposed to finalize his move away from the club, has traveled with the team and is an option for the XI.
However, knowing Hansi Flick, don't expect too many surprises. The attack is probably the easiest part to guess given that there aren't many options. Robert Lewandowski will start his first ever Super Cup, with Thomas Muller in a supporting role behind him. Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane are the only real candidates to start on the wings, but neither are likely to play the full 90. Hansi Flick still has a Bundesliga game on Sunday to worry about. Still, a good 60 minutes should be enough to beat Sevilla. Or maybe Jamal Musiala can come on and replicate his excellent goal against Schalke.
Bayern’s midfield is also set in stone. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka are the coach's preferred pairing, so expect to see them start in the middle. It's still early in the season, so Flick will probably stick with this pairing a little longer. When rotation becomes necessarily, we might start to see Corentin Tolisso accumulate some minutes.
Now, the defense. This one is a lot harder to guess, simply because we're not sure about the player’s fitness. David Alaba was a surefire starter at center back last season, but between his recent muscle issues and the contract extension drama, Hansi Flick might opt for Jerome Boateng instead. Niklas Sule is expected to start at the right center back position, while Benjamin Pavard is the only right back Bayern has (for now). The left back question is also up in the air. Will Lucas Hernandez start, or Alphonso Davies? It's honestly a 50-50 decision.
So with all that in mind, here's how we think Bayern Munich will line up tomorrow:
I really just want to see Phonzie and Sane on the pitch at the same time. Sorry, Lucas.
So here’s what Bild think about the lineup. Sorry Lucas, no one thinks you’ll start (though this makes me think that he will end up starting).