With an injury crisis in full swing, Bayern Munich are set to take on the most in-form team in the Bundesliga. Eintracht Frankfurt have never been easy opponents, but this time Hansi Flick might have bitten off more than he can chew. The Eagles have won all but one game in 2021, with a solitary draw coming against Freiburg in January. While they’ll be without goal scorer Andre Silva, Adi Hutter’s side will try to take the game to the Bavarians.
Lots and lots of bad news, interspersed with a little bit of good. Leon Goretzka, Javi Martinez, and Jerome Boateng are back in training — they’ll be available tomorrow. However, Tanguy Nianzou, Serge Gnabry, and Alex Nubel are all still in recovery for their respective injuries, while Benjamin Pavard and Thomas Muller remain in quarantine. Finally, Corentin Tolisso is out indefinitely with a muscle tendon injury — his season is practically over.
With all these setbacks, how will Hansi Flick set up the squad? Well, Robert Lewandowski has to start up front, that’s a given. Erix-Maxim Choupo-Moting started behind him last week, so Hansi Flick may opt for him once again. This would’ve been a good chance for Jamal Musiala, given Thomas Muller’s absence, but it’s understandable if Flick doesn’t want to risk playing a youngster in a big game like Frankfurt.
Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane are the two fit wingers on the squad, so they’re going to start on the flanks. In midfield, Joshua Kimmich may pair up with Marc Roca, assuming Goretzka isn’t ready to start a game immediately after recovering from his calf injury. Expect to see him as a substitute. Of course, Flick could continue experimenting with Alaba in midfield, we can’t rule it out.
In defense, with Pavard out and Sarr in dire form, Flick has to put Niklas Sule at right-back and adjust the rest of the defense accordingly. David Alaba may move back to central defense, with Flick putting Alphonso Davies at left-back and Jerome Boateng at right back. Since Boateng’s absence wasn’t due to injury, he should be ready to slot right back in, and the Frankfurt game could give him some value game time to get in shape for the Champions League clash against Lazio in midweek.
Finally, Manuel Neuer will be between the sticks, and he’s going to be hoping that his defense isn’t as shambolic as it was last week. Here’s how the lineup might shape up:
- Jamal Musiala at AM instead of Choupo.
- Lucas Hernandez at CB, Alaba to midfield (instead of Roca).
- Kimmich at RB, Alaba-Roca pivot?
Just to be thorough, here's Bild’s prediction:
Bayern's predicted XI against Frankfurt, according to BILD:— Sextuple winners (@iMiaSanMia) February 19, 2021
Neuer – Süle, Alaba, Hernández, Davies – Kimmich, Goretzka – Sané, Musiala, Coman – Lewandowski