It’s almost time for the DFL Supercup, which means that Bayern Munich must visit the den of the big blond Norwegian monster that is Erling Haaland. Julian Nagelsmann still hasn’t won a game with his new club yet, and the way Borussia Dortmund played against Frankfurt on Saturday, our poor coach may be set to extend that record.
Still, Bayern Munich will never go down without a fight. What kind of fight? Well, let’s talk about it ...
Lucas Hernandez will NOT be back for this game. The Frenchman would’ve been a great help against someone like Haaland, but you can’t exactly rush a recovery like this. The same goes for Benjamin Pavard, who won’t be back until after the international break. Nagelsmann will have to rely on his existing defenders for this game.
Meanwhile, Corentin Tolisso has rejoined the squad for team training and could be an option for the game. He’s unlikely to start, but could at least be an option off the bench to give Goretzka or Kimmich some rest.
So, let’s talk about the lineup. We’re likely to see Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller up top, with Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane on the flanks. That is, unless Nagelsmann didn’t like what he saw against Gladbach and decides to change it up with Musiala and Coman on the wings. Honestly, it’s past time that Musiala gets to start for Bayern — his performances warrant more trust than what he’s getting from coaches. But he did miss training on Friday, so there might be a knock or two we don’t know about.
In midfield, look no further than Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. Unless Bayern buys Sabitzer, this pairing will not be challenged at all this season. Is that going to be a problem later? Almost certainly yes. For now, it’s all about the opponent in front of you. Josh and Leon looked rusty against Gladbach — hopefully they shake it off before facing BVB.
The back line will be especially important for this game, but don’t expect too many changes from the coach. While Alphonso Davies was criticized for some defense lapses in the Gladbach game, Nagelsmann put his weight behind the Canadian saying he’d rather have a player that builds up attacks than passes the ball sideways. Honestly, Phonzie was probably one of Bayern’s best players in the Bundesliga opener, and he could be critical to preventing BVB’s blazing-fast counters.
At center-back, Nagelsmann addressed the absence of Tanguy Nianzou by saying he and Niklas Sule and Dayot Upamecano were more or less on the same level. Given that it’s a Supercup game we’re talking about, Nianzou may have to sit this one out solely due to his lack of experience. Sule and Upa have all the physicality you could ask for from a pair of center backs, but even so, stopping Haaland will be an absolute nightmare.
At right-back, Nagelsmann backed the 21-year-old Josip Stanisic to start once again, which is a real vote of confidence in the youngster. If he can perform against BVB, he can perform against anyone. Are we seeing the dawn of a new Bayern right-back?
Finally, we have Manuel Neuer leading the team from the back. If all else fails, he is our last line of defense against BVB’s ruthless attack. Let’s hope he doesn’t have to intervene too much — Neuer is world class, but you can’t push your luck.
So, here’s what the lineup should look like tomorrow. What do you think?
- Musiala and/or Coman in for either of the wingers.
- Tanguy Nianzou in at center back.
- Sule shifted to RB, with Nianzou coming on for Stanisic.
Just a quick reminder that our preview podcast for this game is OUT and you can listen to it below!
Bild doesn't seem to expect any big surprises in the lineup.
Dortmund vs Bayern | Possible lineups [Bild] pic.twitter.com/pulC7qKtH4— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 16, 2021
Not a huge piece of news, but it looks like Bayern’s third kit will be revealed in the Supercup tonight. It's not bad, but I'm sure we'll miss the gorgeous contrast between Bavarian red and Borussian yellow.