It feels like barely any time has passed since the October international break, but club football is set to pause for another couple of weeks as national teams around the world battle in their respective World Cup qualifiers. As the coach of Bayern Munich, Julian Nagelsmann has more international players than most teams, so he has to think carefully about balancing his players’ minutes. That means rotating against a team like Freiburg, who have looked solid all season and are undefeated in the Bundesliga. Otherwise, the coach risks fatigue and injuries to his key players.
Yeah, no one said coaching this team is easy.
Marcel Sabitzer has a gastrointestinal infection and is out for the game, but otherwise Bayern have a full squad ready to face Freiburg. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting makes a timely return, since he can expect some minutes off the bench this weekend. Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Sule, both of whom missed the midweek Champions League game with minor injuries, are also back in the squad.
So let’s discuss the lineup. Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller are surely starting up top, especially since the latter got a rest in midweek. Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman have both started the last two games in a row, so they may get rest in favor of Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala. In Musiala’s case a start is long overdue, so he better get one on Saturday.
In midfield, don’t expect any rotation. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka are both going to start, although the latter may get subbed for Corentin Tolisso if Bayern have a lead in the second half. Kimmich’s lack of rest has been criticized by fans for several weeks now, but it’s unlikely that Nagelsmann will leave him out of the XI any time soon. Unfortunately for Bayern, there just isn’t anyone who can do what Kimmich does for this team.
The defense is interesting, because there are so many options for permutations. For now, we’ll go with a more conservatives lineup consisting of Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard at fullback, with Niklas Sule and Dayot Upamecano at center-back to give Lucas Hernandez some extra rest. Both Omar Richards and Josip Stanisic will like be on standby, so don’t expect either fullback to play a full 90.
Rounding out the potential XI is Manuel Neuer, who is likely to be in goal. Here’s what the starting lineup should look like:
Here's what Bild thinks the lineup will be:
Bayern's predicted XI against Freiburg, according to BILD:— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) November 5, 2021
Neuer – Pavard, Süle, Upamecano, Davies – Kimmich, Goretzka – Gnabry, Müller, Musiala – Lewandowski
As always, we did a preview podcast for this game! Here are our key talking points:
- My love for Freiburg and why they are so good
- A big test for Nagelsmann Bayern
- The forms of both teams heading into the fixture
- Key players and predicted lineups
- A final scoreline prediction
Thanks for listening!