While Bayern Munich are undoubtedly the best team in Germany, the DFB Pokal isn’t a competition that is to be taken lightly. In the last five years, the Bavarians have only won the competition twice. Last year was especially humilating, with an exhausted Bayern team getting knocked out by 2nd division Holstein Kiel as early as the second round.
Julian Nagelsmann will be keen to make it further in the tournament than his predecessor did, and for that he needs to get past Borussia Monchengladbach. However, the Foals have an excellent record against Bayern in recent years, making them the most threatening opponents possible in this stage of the competition.
Not many injuries, but a lot of weird stuff is happening at Bayern at the moment. First of all, Lucas Hernandez might have to go to jail on Thursday. Given that the game is on Wednesday, this means he’s just barely available for selection, but might have to hop on a jet once full time rolls around. Secondly, Julian Nagelsmann is still unavailable for the game — he is still in quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19.
Good news is, at least Alphonso Davies and Leon Goretzka are fit and back in training. Their return gives a big boost to this Bayern side.
So, what will the starting XI look like? Well, expect a very safe lineup from Nagelsmann and Toppmoller — Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller up top, supported by in in-form Serge Gnabry on the right and a rested Leroy Sane on the left. All four of these players are playing much better football than when Gladbach last met Bayern, so hopefully they turn up with some nice goals tomorrow.
The midfield is set in stone, basically. Leon Goretzka will return to the lineup at Marcel Sabitzer’s expense, while Joshua Kimmich will start in his usual spot at defensive midfield. None of the other mids seem to have Nagelsmann’s trust at the moment, so don’t expect any new names to play barring an unexpected injury.
In defense, Alphonso Davies will likely come in for Omar Richards, while Lucas Hernandez may be allowed to sit this one out. He may not show it, but the Frenchman is probably under a lot of psychological pressure at the moment, so maybe putting him in for a must-win Pokal game wouldn’t be a good idea. Dayot Upamecano and Niklas Sule can handle themselves in the center, while Benjamin Pavard can expect his third consecutive start at right-back. If all else fails, at least there’s still Manuel Neuer.
So, here’s what the starting XI should look like tomorrow:
Looks like Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will be out for the next two weeks.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is out of tonight's game against Borussia Mönchengladbach after sustaining an injury yesterday in training [Kicker]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 27, 2021
We did a special-edition two person podcast previewing this game! Why not have a listen? Here’s what was discussed:
- Our general thoughts on the matchup.
- A rundown of Gladbach’s form, including the tactical failings of coach Adi Hutter.
- Why Yann Sommer still scares us.
- The specific ways in which BMG can hurt Bayern Munich.
- Will Gladbach target Alphonso Davies again?
- Explaining why Gladbach vs Bayern is like a Togekiss vs a Garchomp (Nintendo please don’t sue us).
- What is going on with Florian Neuhaus?
- Which Gladbach player do we want to see at Bayern (not Neuhaus).
- A scoreline prediction for the game.
Thanks for listening!