With Bayern Munich coming off the back of three high-octane games against tough opponents, you’d think a Pokal tie versus a 5th division side would be the perfect moment tp rest some players. Well it WOULD BE, if not for what happened against Holstein Kiel last year. To spare everyone blushes, Julian Nagelsmann will need to be very careful against Bremer SV — the DFB Pokal has a tendency to produce unexpected results.
I spent a lot of time hyping up this game in the previous paragraph, but Nagelsmann’s already confirmed that he will be resting some key players for this one. Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, and Leon Goretzka will all be made to sit this one out, while Kingsley Coman and Lucas Hernandez both have yet to regain full fitness after their injuries. At the very least, we will see some kind of B-team fielded by Bayern tomorrow.
So what will the lineup look like? Let’s assume that it’ll mainly be first-teamers who play, because including youth players simply makes predicting a lineup much harder. With that in mind, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will likely start up top, aided by Thomas Muller at the attacking midfield position. Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane are the most likely candidates for the wings, although it wouldn’t be out of the question to see some youngster get their first game in the senior team.
In midfield, this would be a good opportunity for Corentin Tolisso to get some minutes, aided by the newly-extended Joshua Kimmich next to him. Given that the Frenchman has barely played in the last two years, any game time would be appreciated at this point. Maybe Marc Roca could also get some minutes if fit — Nagelsmann didn’t clarify on the Spaniard’s status. Youngsters like Taylor Booth and Torben Rhein could also be called up to the first team, like they were during preseason.
The backline is interesting, because there’s a lot of potential for changes. Given the trend of resting players for this game, Alphonso Davies is likely to sit this out, probably in favor of Omar Richards or Josip Stanisic. Tanguy Nianzou and Dayot Upamecano are likely to pair up at center-back like they did in preseason, while (brace yourself) Buona Sarr might get an outing at right-back. Meanwhile, with Neuer confirmed out, Sven Ulreich will get his moment in goal.
If all of this reads like a recipe for disaster, then maybe you’re a little paranoid. Bremer are a fifth tier team — they’re not even pro footballers. A lineup like the one below should be able to get the job done, barring a catastrophe:
Even Bild weren't brave enough to predict a lineup this time, so here's a quote from Bremer's goalkeeper.