The one story that has dominated the headlines over the past three months with Bayern Munich has been the transfer saga of David Alaba.
The Austrian defender has not had a standing offer from the Bavarians for roughly two months and has been linked primarily to Real Madrid, Liverpool, Paris-Saint Germain, FC Barcelona, Chelsea, Juventus, Manchester City, and Manchester United.
Clearly, the veteran is a popular figure on the transfer market due to his quality, versatility, and overall value. Simply put, Alaba is a player that would help many teams.
This season, however, Alaba has not been at his best. In fact, he has been subpar (compared to his normal standards) for part of this campaign. Still, Alaba is not a robot and his uncertain future has had to have had a big effect on his play (despite what he might say publicly).
With report of a departure for Real Madrid circulating, the question is now fair to ask: What happens to Alaba at Bayern Munich if he announces a move to Madrid or another destination?
Will Hansi Flick continue to play Alaba if he believes he is the best man for the job or will he relegate him to the bench, so the club can start to immediately work on its “next phase” for the left center-back position? More, could Flick use a slow burn and start to phase Alaba out gradually before handing the reigns over to Lucas Hernandez?
This one singular decision could have a trickle-down effect to the roster stability, team morale, and overall performance.
Worse, there is no easy answer or even a correct solution. This is all completely fluid.
Whatever tactic Flick uses, he will certainly have planned it out and discussed it heavily with the front office and his coaching staff alike.
This Bayern Munich team is still a leading contender for the Champions League. With another treble already off the table, the Bavarians will be laser-focused on retaining their Bundesliga and UCL titles moving forward.
Peaky Blinders appears to be on its way back
In news that assuredly will make more people than just Tom Adams and myself happy, the Peaky Blinders official Twitter account sent this beauty out yesterday:
For fans of the show, this seems to be a signal that production on season six is getting closer to complete. That is the good news.
The bad news? The series appears to be ending — at least as a formal show — after season six.
Per The Hollywood Reporter (as captured by Vulture):
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the BAFTA-winning drama starring Cillian Murphy will come to an end after the show’s currently filming sixth season; the BBC series, available to stream on Netflix, has just entered production. According to Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, while the show itself might be coming to an end, the story of family, organized crime, and timeless men’s haircuts will continue, though he stops short of announcing a film or other permutation of the show.
While the series will be heading off the air, it does appear that there will be some sort of plans for a movie or other medium:
“Peaky is back and with a bang,” Knight told THR. “After the enforced production delay due to the COVID pandemic, we find the family in extreme jeopardy and the stakes have never been higher. We believe this will be the best series of all and are sure that our amazing fans will love it. While the TV series will be coming to an end, the story will continue in another form.”
After picking up a solid win against SC Freiburg over the weekend, Bayern Munich will have a quick turnaround to face FC Augsburg in what should be a very winnable match for Hansi Flick’s squad.
Augsburg has lost two in a row and three of its last four games. Die Fuggerstadter is probably not in a good place to be facing a Bayern Munich team that is eager to prove the slump it was in is officially over.
One of the big keys to the game for Augsburg will be to see how Heiko Herrlich aligns his squad and who exactly he rolls out. With Michael Gregoritsch, Florian Niederlechner, Alfred Finnbogason, and Daniel Caligiuri as viable offensive options, it will interesting to see if Herrlich opts to play conservatively or if he will choose to challenge Bayern Munich like so many other teams have done this season.
Regardless of what that strategy might be, Bayern Munich should be up to the task. This could be a game where Robert Lewandowski goes for two or three goals as FC Augsburg is going to have trouble matching up with the pacey wingers that deploys (which are expected to be Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane). The space for Lewandowski and Thomas Muller could be quite plentiful.
Defensively, Bayern Munich would seemingly be in a good position to repeat its success against Freiburg. Aside of a lost mark on a corner by Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich’s much-maligned backline was very good.
I expect the same type of performance even on short rest.
Prediction: FC Augsburg 0-4 Bayern Munich
Other Bundesliga predictions are as follows:
- Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 Werder Bremen
- Bayer Leverkusen 2-3 Borussia Dortmund
- Hertha Berlin 2-2 Hoffenheim
- Mainz 05 1-3 Wolfsburg
- Schalke 04 2-2 FC Köln
- Arminia Bielefeld 1-2 VfB Stuttgart
- SC Freiburg 2-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
- Union Berlin 2-3 RB Leipzig
I am in a rut, plain-and-simple. If I was actually putting money down on these games, I’d have had a sleepless night on Saturday going into Sunday.
Last Bundesliga match day record: 2-7
Overall record: 73-78*
Guest predictors’ record: 19-4
(*includes DFL-Supercup, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League)