Beating Borussia Dortmund in the DFL Supercup was quite an achievement, but Julian Nagelsmann isn’t out of the woods yet. Let’s not forget that, under him, Bayern Munich have only won a grand total of ONE game. To be fair, the vast majority of matches were preseason friendlies with most of the starters unavailable, but it’s a record that needs to start improving ASAP. Luckily, Koln are the perfect opponents for some stat padding.
Unluckily, the coach also has some key injuries to deal with.
The big news this week is that Manuel Neuer has suffered a minor injury to the capsule of his right ankle. While not particularly serious (per the club) Nagelsmann has suggested that the Bayern captain will need to sit this game out, at the very least. Kingsley Coman, meanwhile, suffered some kind of injury during the Supercup and won’t be available for Sunday’s game — his participation in midweek vs Bremer SV is also in doubt.
So, what could the lineup look like tomorrow? Well, the front line basically selects itself — you can expect Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller up top, supported by Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry on the wings. While the fanbase may want to see Jamal Musiala finally get a start on the wings, it feels like Nagelsmann will keep using the youngster as an impact sub for the moment, while he tries to get his starting wingers up to speed.
The midfield also selects itself, since Marc Roca is still injured and Corentin Tolisso isn’t ready for a full 90 yet. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka will both start in the middle, although they’re unlikely to play the full 90 together. Bayern need points at the moment, but with an international break coming up, Nagelsmann could do more to help his main midfielders manage their minutes.
In defense, changes are also unlikely to happen. Josip Stanisic will continue his stint at right-back while Benjamin Pavard remains injured, while Dayot Upamecano and Niklas Sule should be allowed to continue their pairing, although Tanguy Nianzou may be given an outing for the sake of rotation. Alphonso Davies should round out the backline, and we hope the young Canadian continues his good form at left-back.
With Neuer absent, Sven Ulreich will start his first official game since his Bayern return. Let’s hope the defense doesn’t give him too much work to do. With all that in mind, here’s how the lineup should look like tomorrow:
- Tanguy Nianzou in for either of the center backs.
- Jamal Musiala in for one of the wingers.
- Omar Richards in for Alphonso Davies at left-back. Given his injury issues before this season, Davies could use a little rest.
- Corentin Tolisso in for one of the midfielders (maybe Goretzka). He could play 60 minutes before being subbed.
Here's Bild’s take on the predicted lineups for this game:
Bayern vs Köln | Possible lineups [BamS] pic.twitter.com/oQI1XPm8mj— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 21, 2021
Some interesting news from Plettenberg, it's possible that Neuer could play today.