It’s been less than a week since Bayern Munich were 2-0 down vs Mainz at HT, and the team travel to Gladbach to take on Marco Rose and his tricky Foals. Monchengladbach may sit 7th in the league table, but they’ve collected some impressive scalps this season, as Real Madrid and Inter Milan had the displeasure of finding out. Rose’s high pressing style emphasizes quick transitions, which could really hurt the Bavarians at this stage.
As is always the case with Bayern, there’s good news and bad. Kingsley Coman is back in team training and will be available for the squad tomorrow, while Serge Gnabry is ruled out due to a lingering injury from the Mainz game. Tanguy Nianzou remains out with a hamstring issue, while Marc Roca and Joshua Zirkzee are doubtful.
So where does that leave the lineup? Well, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller are basically the first names on the team sheet right now — the two of them make Bayern’s attack the best in the world. Joining them will likely be Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane on the flanks, with Jamal Musiala on the bench as a substitute option. Given that the team is basically guaranteed to concede a couple of goals tomorrow, the attackers need to have their shooting boots on.
In midfield, Hansi Flick answered everyone’s biggest question — Joshua Kimmich stays where he is! Despite an incredibly successful cameo at right-back against Mainz, Kimmich will reprise his role in defensive midfield for this game.
Joining him will be Leon Goretzka, who showed how crucial is after being subbed on against Mainz. The duo will be tasked with dealing with Rose’s high press — hopefully, they’re up to the job. The defense really needs all the help it can get at the moment.
Speaking of which, the coach has a very big problem at the back to solve. First of all, will Lucas Hernandez play? Alphonso Davies and Davies Alaba have started a bunch of games consecutively, but Lucas’ defensive attributes could be invaluable against a team like Gladbach. If you were to poll the fans right now, the majority would be overwhelmingly in favor of Lucas benching Alaba, but that’s not how Hansi’s mind works. For now, let’s assume that Lucas gets benched for the second consecutive game of 2021.
Meanwhile, the opposite flank is in a bit of a conundrum. Much has been made of Bayern’s deficiencies at right-back this season, with Benjamin Pavard unable to replicate his incredible form from the 19/20 campaign. With the Bundesliga race at tight as it is, Hansi may elect to let the Frenchman sit this one out in favor of Niklas Sule, like he did against Bayer Leverkusen. Another option would be to put Sule in Jerome Boateng’s position, with his pace allowing Pavard to take more risks further up the pitch. The team needs Pavard to attack — giving him support at the back might help with that.
If all else fails, at least we have Manuel Neuer. When was the last time the poor man kept a clean sheet? Well, without further ado, here’s what our lineup might look like:
- Pavard instead of Sule at right-back.
- Hernandez instead of Davies at left-back.
- Pavard in for Boateng, Sule to center back.