Bayern Munich return to Bundesliga action with a very long and complicated list of injuries, mainly due to how many players are supposedly half-fit. After last week’s debacle against Augsburg, Julian Nagelsmann needs a good performance versus Arminia Bielefeld to keep top spot secure, especially with the game against Borussia Dortmund looming next Saturday.
With only 1 point separating the top two teams in the Bundesliga, the result of this game could change the complexion of the entire league table.
It’s complicated, so let’s just recap:
- Joshua Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are definitely ruled out due to testing positive for Covid-19.
- Tanguy Nianzou has a shoulder ligament injury and will miss the game.
- Marcel Sabitzer has a calf problem and will miss the game.
- Buona Sarr suffered an adductor injury in training and will not be able to play.
- Niklas Sule and Josip Stansic are both back from quarantine, but they’re unlikely to start.
- Lucas Hernandez and Leon Goretzka suffered minor injuries, but they’re fit and will be able to play against Bielefeld.
- Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, and Michael Cuisance will be released from quarantine in time to make the bench — they definitely won’t start but could come on as subs.
So what about the lineup? Well, Nagelsmann has very few options in attack, so expect a repeat of the front-four we saw against Kyiv — Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller up stop, flanked by Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman on the wings. They will likely be supported by a dual pivot consisting of Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso, the latter of whom will be starting consecutive games for the first time in years.
The defense is also mostly set in stone. With both Sule and Stanisic only recently recovered from Covid, Julian Nagelsmann will probably send Benjamin Pavard out as right-back for one last time. The Frenchman is running out of chances to prove that he’s good enough to hang onto his starting spot, and he’s likely to find himself on the bench against Dortmund if he can’t muster up a great performance against Arminia.
Alphonso Davies will start on the left, while Lucas Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano will make up the center of the defense. Manuel Neuer, who has not seen a clean sheet in over a month now, will be in goal.
Here’s what that lineup should look like:
Not many surprises from Bild this time!
Expected lineups [Bild] pic.twitter.com/9jWCAuqwtX— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) November 27, 2021
BTW, we happen to have a podcast on all things Bayern Munich, and we did a preview episode for the game against Bielefeld this week. Why not check it out?
As always, thanks for listening!