With only one more game left until we begin an international break, Julian Nagelsmann will hope to send his team off with a bang. I mean, it’s not like the end of the season or anything, but the September international break always comes at an awkward time for Bayern Munich, doubly so when the players are getting used to a new manager. Any and all momentum gets killed, and you have to start from scratch.
Hertha Berlin have started the season poorly (what’s new?) but they’ve often been a thorn in Bayern’s side. Beating them to keep pace in the title race will give the club a good foundation to build on, especially since the first game after the break is vs. Leipzig. Nagelsmann needs every point he can get.
Mostly good news this time, which is a rarity for this club. Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard were back in training but not quite yet 100%, while Kingsley Coman has returned from the undisclosed injury that kept him sidelined against Bremer SV. Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, and Leon Goretzka are also back in the squad following their exclusion in the midweek Pokal game.
So how will the team line up against Hertha? Well, expect Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller up top, supported by a new winger setup. Nagelsmann admitted in his press conference that Leroy Sane looks more comfortable on the left side of the pitch, so this may be the first time we get to see LW Sane against Bundesliga quality opposition, just like he played for Manchester City. On the right, it’s a three-way battle between Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry, and Kingsley Coman. I’ll say Gnabry edges it on seniority, but Musiala is a pretty good shout.
For the midfield, the pairing of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka needs no introduction. Most fans feel that they’ve been underwhelming this season, and honestly I’d agree. Their play isn’t quite as sharp as it was under Hansi Flick’s reign, and it’s clear whether that’s because of their own performance downturn or a problem with Nagelsmann’s tactics. I guess the Berlin game will provide us with more info to digest.
Meanwhile, at the back, Alphonso Davies will likely return to the left-back position after being rested in midweek, while being joined by Niklas Sule and Dayot Upamecano at center-back. With Pavard still not at 100% fitness, Josip Stanisic will likely slot in at right-back once again. With Manuel Neuer returning his keeping role, Julian Nageslmann will likely be fielding a close to full-strength lineup versus Hertha Berlin.
Here’s what it should look like:
Interestingly, Bild is predicting Jamal Musiala to get the nod at wing over Leroy Sane:
Predicting the winger combo is always tough — let’s see who ends up being right.