The Champions League is back! Bayern Munich are back in action against Portuguese side Benfica, who are looking to embarrass FC Barcelona by dumping them into the Europa League. To do so, they’ll need all three points from this game, so you know that they’ll be motivated to win. How’s Bayern going to tackle that — and will Julian Nagelsmann even be on the bench?
Injury-wise, Bayern Munich are looking pretty decent at the moment. Only Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is set to miss the game with injury, while Lucas Hernandez and Leon Goretzka are both recovered and ready for action. That being said, the coach mentioned in his press conference that Alphonso Davies is struggling with some muscular problems, and he wants to use this game against Benfica to rest some of the regular starters.
So what does that mean for the lineup? Well, we can be sure that Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller will get starts as usual, but they may be joined by different faces on the wings. Jamal Musiala has been sensational so far this season, and he could pair up with Serge Gnabry on the other flank to give Leroy Sane some rest. Kingsley Coman is another option for the starting XI — the Frenchman has been in good form since returning from his heart surgery and even scored a goal in midweek.
Joshua Kimmich is another man who could use a rest, but actually resting him might be a tall order for Nagelsmann at this stage. If Leon Goretzka really is operating at a 100% after his heel injury last week, then we may see a duo comprised of either him and Corentin Tolisso or Marcel Sabitzer ... but don’t count on it. Kimmich rest days are as rare as water on Arrakis. Expect a more standard dual-pivot tomorrow, unless Nagelsmann has something weird in store.
The defense is an interesting one — if Alphonso Davies sits out, Omar Richards could get his first start in the Champions League. What a moment that would be for the young Englishman. As for the center backs, if Lucas Hernandez is rested, then we could see Niklas Sule and Dayot Upamecano in central defense together. Benjamin Pavard was rested on the weekend, so he should be good to start against Benfica.
Finally, as always, we can expect Manuel Neuer to be in goal. Here’s what a potential lineup could look like tomorrow:
As for Nagelsmann, he’s still waiting for the results of his covid test to come back negative. If they do, then he can be on the sidelines. We’ll keep you updated on that as more news comes out.
Bild has a very different lineup prediction:
Bayern vs Benfica | Possible lineups [Bild] pic.twitter.com/Uvf3yv0N6p— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) November 1, 2021
Nagelsmann is back in action!
Welcome back, coach! @J__Nagelsmann #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/LPtgYZvS9w— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) November 2, 2021
ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. Benfica (Champions League)
If you want more info and analysis on the game, why not check out our preview podcast?
Thanks for listening!