The international break is finally over, and Julian Nagelsmann faces another big test in his fledgling Bayern Munich career. Bayer Leverkusen are the most in-form team in the Bundesliga right now, and the Bavarians must defeat them in order to keep hold of top spot. Bayern have no big injuries this time, but coming out of a break is a huge disadvantage — one that the opponents will be sure to exploit.
Even Hansi Flick’s all-conquering treble team lost to Leverkusen — how will Nagelsmann fare?
Not much in the way of team news at the moment, which is a good thing. Benjamin Pavard will be suspended for the game due to his red card against Greuther Furth three weeks ago, but aside from that Nagelsmann has an almost-complete squad. Even Corentin Tolisso is available for selection, having finally rejoined team training over the course of the break.
So how will the coach line up his team? Well, don’t expect any surprises in attack — Nagelsmann has been steadfast in trusting Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry on the wings, with the usual duo of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller up top. Jamal Musiala may have an outside chance of being in the starting XI, but he along with Kingsley Coman will likely be held back in case Bayern need more firepower in the second half.
The midfield is also basically set in stone, with none of the club’s secondary mids unable to displace Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka from the lineup. It seems that Marc Roca and Michael Cuisance aren’t considered good enough by the coach, while Tolisso has only just returned from a long injury layoff. Marcel Sabitzer has the best chance of seeing minutes versus Bayer Leverkusen, but the Austrian is also unlikely to start games any time soon. Nagelsmann remains mum on why the former RB Leipzig captain has yet to make the XI.
With no Pavard available, the defense is pretty easy to predict. Lucas Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano are likely to start in central defense, flanked by Alphonso Davies and Niklas Sule at the fullback positions. For Hernandez, this could be one of the last games he plays before transferring to Prison FC, so let’s hope he puts in a solid performance. Manuel Neuer, as always, should be expected in goal.
So, what does that lineup look like? Here you go:
- Musiala in for either of the wingers.
- Sabitzer in for Goretzka in midfield.
- Stanisic in for Sule at right-back.
Here’s Bild’s take on the lineup. That Leverkusen side with Wirtz and Schick looks pretty scary.
Leverkusen vs Bayern | Possible lineups [BamS] pic.twitter.com/tjqCNrnveo— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 16, 2021
ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich is back in action this weekend against Bayer Leverkusen in what should be an extremely fun match-up between two of the Bundesliga’s most exciting teams.
On one side, you have Bayern Munich, who was steamrolling through all competition until butting heads with Eintracht Frankfurt. On the other side, there is a young and hungry Leverkusen side with one of the league’s most exciting players: Florian Wirtz.
Needless to say, this should be a battle. Here is what we have on tap:
- The recent form of both sides.
- Admiration for each team’s phenom: Jamal Musiala and Wirtz.
- A guess on Julian Nagelsmann’s lineup.
- A prediction on the match.
As always, thanks for your support and let us know what you think!