It’s the final matchday of the 2021 Champions League and Bayern Munich are set to face FC Barcelona in front of an (unfortunately) empty Allianz Arena. The Catalans come to Germany with a new coach and a desperate need to win, while Bayern could just get away with fielding a rotational XI. However, Julian Nagelsmann doesn’t want to do that — per his press conference, he’s going to choose his best possible lineup. Brace yourself for some fireworks, gentlemen. This could get very interesting.
The news isn’t great on either side, actually. Bayern come into the game missing the likes of Joshua Kimmich (quarantine), Leon Goretzka (hip), Serge Gnabry (adductor), and Marcel Sabitzer (calf), while Lucas Hernandez is doubtful due to the injury he sustained against Borussia Dortmund. FC Barcelona, meanwhile, will be without the services of key forwards like Ansu Fati, Martin Braithwaite, and Sergio Aguero. Memphis Depay will probably play up top in their place.
So how do we expect Bayern to line up? Well, the attack basically chooses itself. Robert Lewandowski will start up top, supported by Thomas Muller and flanked by Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman on the left and right wings respectively.
In midfield, Jamal Musiala may get a chance to start in the #8 role he’s been preparing for over a week now, with Corentin Tolisso slotting in at the #6 position. It’ll be a risky move to play a totally untested pivot against Barca, but at least there’s nothing concrete riding on this game so Nagelsmann can afford to experiment.
The backline will be interesting, especially since Lucas’ participation is in doubt. Niklas Sule could slot back into the starting XI alongside Dayot Upamecano, while Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard play at left and right-back respectively.
Davies’ role could end up being especially crucial, if Barca end up deploying their trump card from the very start. Who’s that trump card? Well, Ousmane Dembele of course! You’d know that if you listened to our special edition preview podcast. Check it out below or at this link if you want a more detailed look at the tie:
Anyway, rounding out the XI should be Manuel Neuer in the keeper’s spot. Here’s what that lineup should look like:
Meanwhile here's Bild’s interpretation of the lineup.