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Midweek Warm-up: Does Bayern Munich want Robert Lewandowski or Erling Haaland...let’s review; The time is now for Marc Roca; Bundesliga predictions; A throwback to Elastica’s “Connection”; and MORE!

A midweek match-up? Let’s do this!

Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

If you have been following the respective contract situations of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, you might have already come to the conclusion that they are at least a little intertwined.

Lewandowski’s deal with the Bavarians ends in 2023, but he is looking for one last big contract with Bayern Munich before he rides off into the sunset (though he has not ruled out a transfer away). Haaland, meanwhile, is probably the player with the biggest upside in all of football — and he can be had this summer for a bargain rate of €75-€80 million thanks to a buyout figure within his contract.

Depending on who and what you believe, Bayern Munich is either interested in Lewandowski and Haaland...but — allegedly — not both.

Maybe?

Possibly?

While everyone in red is going out of their way to say, “Oh, no! We do not have interest in Haaland. We don’t, we swear,” we keep seeing stories linking Bayern Munich to Haaland...and then subsequent rebuttals.

The most recent rebuttal came from Sky Sports...but good ol’ Jan Aage Fjørtoft was there to rebuff the rebuttal and let us know that yes, Bayern Munich is interested in Haaland.

What makes Fjørtoft’s insider knowledge a little more valuable? Well, he’s Norwegian (like Haaland!) and a friend of the Haaland family.

If, though, you’ve read my thoughts on this matter at some point, you already know what I’d do: Take the philosophy of “why not both?”

Here are the counterarguments, I typically get:

  • “They can’t coexist in the same space on offense”

Retort: Have you seen Bayern Munich’s offense this season? Julian Nagelsmann is packing everyone in the box. Why not at least have someone who can finish?

  • “What formation could possibly fit both players?”

Retort: Again, have you seen Bayern Munich play this season? For all intents and purposes, Bayern Munich deploying a 3-4-2-1 right now and once Nagelsmann feels like he has enough clout to make that “formal”, he can really dig into his bag of tricks. Nagelsmann could shift to a 3-4-1-2 if needed or make the relationship between Haaland and Lewandowski fluid with lots of interchanging.

  • What about Leroy Sane? Serge Gnabry? Kingsley Coman? Jamal Musiala?

Retort: Nagelsmann seems to be ready to shift away from a system that utilizes true wingers. While Sane has been excellent operating more centrally, Coman is nearing the end of his deal and wants to be paid like Lewandowski (not going to happen at Bayern Munich), and Gnabry, well, he’s a wild card. It is hard to figure out what the future holds for Gnabry anyway should Nagelsmann really make a formation change official. He could fill a role like Sane, but that likely puts him on the bench.

As for Musiala, he can operate centrally or out-wide, so he could fit anywhere in Nagelsmann’s formation as he continues to develop.

In the end, it just feels like (to me!) Erling Haaland wants to move to Bayern Munich. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe he’ll end up at FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, or Chelsea FC, but something just feels like he wants to stay in Germany...only for the Rekordmeister and not Borussia Dortmund.

Prodigious talents like Haaland do not come around often — moreover, they typically do not want to have Bayern Munich as their first choice to spend a good part of their career. If Bayern Munich can get Haaland — and he truly wants to play for the Bavarians — the club should acquire the Norwegian this summer and let the rest of the world figure out how to stop that offense.


The world is yours Marc Roca

To say that Marc Roca has been biding his time at Bayern Munich would be an understatement. The Spaniard has been unable to break into the lineup and has reportedly grown frustrated at his lack of playing time.

Now — thanks to a historic string of injuries and ailments — Roca might finally get his chance to shine.

Maybe?

Possibly?

Joshua Kimmich (lung infiltration) and Leon Goretzka (knee) are out, while Marcel Sabitzer (calf), Corentin Tolisso (muscular problem), and Jamal Musiala (hand) are all either questionable or doubtful. Musiala at least travelled with the team to Stuttgart, so it’s possible he might play, though.

With a winter transfer possible, Roca could do himself a lot of good with a strong performance. Clubs are eager to bring in talent to help down the stretch run and Roca could catch someone’s eye with a good showing today.


Song of the Midweek: “Connection” by Elastica

I had honestly forgotten about this awesome track, but was working on some highlights with my daughter and somehow she has the same fondness for the 90s as I do (perhaps, I’m a bad influence? Or maybe she heard it in the Captain Marvel movie).

Anyway, the 90s were were awesome and produced some excellent alt-rock, with “Connection” by Elastica being one of those great songs that captured the sound and feel of that time period.

I often wax poetic about the old Philly radio station 103.9 WDRE because it was the open door to alt rock for me and this was a staple of their rotation. Released in October of 1994, “Connection” has a fantastic opening with lead singer Justine Frischmann’s perfect tone and voice for the song eventually taking over

While there was some controversy associated with “Connection”, it does not stop the song from being outstanding. Enjoy it:


Predictions

Bayern Munich did not look great against Mainz 05. Given that every midfielder on the club’s campus is battling something, it appears that things will not be any easier against VfB Stuttgart. Die Schwaben is coming off of a big 2-0 win over a floundering Wolfsburg side and has two wins and a draw in their last three games.

Bayern Munich — even with Tom Adams and Ineednoname working the center of the park — seems poised for a breakout offensively. In particular, Robert Lewandowski is probably going to rip part the locker room if he does not score. That just means, he’ll get at least a brace.

Somehow and some way, Bayern Munich will put together a complete effort.

Prediction: VfB Stuttgart 0-4 Bayern Munich

Other Bundesliga predictions include:

  • Arminia Bielefeld 2-1 VfL Bochum
  • Mainz 05 2-1 Hertha Berlin
  • Wolfsburg 1-0 FC Köln
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
  • FC Augsburg 1-3 RB Leipzig
  • Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Hoffenheim
  • Borussia Dortmund 4-1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth
  • Union Berlin 1-2 SC Freiburg

Prediction Records

I am an utter disaster right now.

Here is where we are at:

Last Bundesliga Match Day record: 3-6

Overall Bundesliga record: 64-62

DFB-Pokal record: 1-1

DFL-Supercup record: 1-0

Champions League record: 6-0

Overall record: 72-63

Guest prognosticator record: 0-1 (Cowards)