Champions League games may be done for the year, but the Bundesliga still has a few more to go. Bayern Munich want to end 2021 on a high note, and only three more games are left. Tomorrow’s one, against Mainz, may well be the hardest one of the lot. Under Bo Svensson, the plucky little Rhineland club have become a force to be reckoned with this season, putting up a legitimate challenge for the Europa League spots. In fact, this will probably be a harder game than Barcelona.
Joshua Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are both out for the rest of the year after suffering minor lung infiltration from Covid-19. It’s ironic that these two clowns will miss the game against Mainz, who are famous for their carnival. Marcel Sabitzer continues his recovery from a calf injury, while Leon Goretzka will also be unavailable due to problems with his patellar tendon. Serge Gnabry, at least, seems fit and ready to start again.
So how will Bayern Munich line up for the game? Well, Nagelsmann doesn’t have many options outside of a tweaked version of the starting XI he used against Barcelona. That means putting Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller up top, flanked by Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry on the two flanks. Kingsley Coman, who’d had some good performances lately, could use a little rest.
In midfield, The Jamal Musiala-Corentin Tolisso dual pivot could get another outing, given that Nagelsmann singled Tolisso out for special praise in his press conference. They probably won’t make it through the full 90 — especially not Musiala, who’s still only 18 — but Marca Roca can be subbed on when needed to fill the gap.
The defense should see the return of Lucas Hernandez to the XI, who was rested in midweek as a precaution. He could take the place of Dayot Upamecano in the lineup, pairing up with Niklas Sule in the center of the park. Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard should be able to man the left and right-back spots respectively. Manuel Neuer, as usual, can be expected in goal.
So what lineup does that give us? Well here’s a look:
Meanwhile, here is Bild’s interpretation of the lineup:
Bayern's predicted XI against Mainz, according to BILD:— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) December 10, 2021
Neuer – Pavard, Süle, Hernández, Davies – Tolisso, Musiala – Coman, Müller, Sané – Lewandowski
Basically the same, but they don’t think Gnabry will start.
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