After a couple of huge games against RB Leipzig and FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich can finally take a breather as the club enters a short period of slightly easier fixtures. First up is newly promoted side VfL Bochum, who have only won a single game this season. Julian Nagelsmann is under pressure to rotate his starting XI following the hectic schedule of previous weeks, but he can’t afford to drop any points against a team like Bochum either. How will the coach deal with this game?
The big news is obviously the fact that Kingsley Coman will miss the next two weeks or so due to a heart issue. The Frenchman had a minor operation to correct an arrhythmia and shouldn’t be out for very long, but he’s definitely ruled out of tomorrow’s game against Bochum. The same goes for Corentin Tolisso, who continues to have issues with his calf. Other than that, Bayern have no significant injuries at the moment.
It’s hard to predict who will play tomorrow given the need for rotation, but let’s assume that Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller will definitely start up top, with Leroy Sane being rested in favor of Jamal Musiala and Serge Gnabry. Coman’s injury throws a wrench in the works, but Sane can come on in the 60th minute to relieve Musiala and keep the youngster’s overall playing time under control. You don’t want to overwork an 18-year-old.
In midfield, well ... you just know that Joshua Kimmich is going to start AGAIN. The 26-year-old is a complete machine and the best Nagelsmann can do right now is to sub him off around the hour-mark for Roca. Marcel Sabizter, meanwhile, could get his first start in a Bayern shirt, giving the newly extended Leon Goretzka some much-needed time off the pitch.
In defense, we have yet another player who should be rested but might not be. Alphonso Davies was injured against the USA on the 5th of September, but still played consecutive full-90s against Leipzig and Barcelona. Given Davies’ youth and his recent injury history, you’d hope that Nagelsmann will finally give him a full game off to recharge. Lucas Hernandez can take over the Canadian’s role at left-back, given that Omar Richards is still working on some deficiencies in his game.
Defenders need less rest than most other players, so Niklas Sule and Dayot Upamecano should be good to start at center-back against Bochum. Benjamin Pavard may be rested for Josip Stanisic, but that’ll be Nagelsmann’s call based on training — for now, we’ll say that the Frenchman will continue to get the nod due to his experience.
Finally, you have Manuel Neuer, who needs no rest because he basically enjoyed a 90 minute siesta against Barcelona in midweek. He’ll want to see a little bit more action against Bochum, but maybe not too much — clean sheets are still important, after all.
Here’s how we predict the lineup might look like:
Bild gives us a hint as to who Nagelsmann may start:
During the final training session today, Julian Nagelsmann made 3 changes on the 'A' team compared to the team that faced Barcelona. Josip Stanišić replaced Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernández for Dayot Upamecano and Serge Gnabry for Jamal Musiala [Bild]— Bayern & Die Mannschaft (@iMiaSanMia_en) September 17, 2021
It’s a little bit disappointing, since there’s not as much rotation as we’d hoped.
ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. VFL Bochum — Hinrunde (Bavarian Football Works)
The Bayern Munich machine is on a roll, and after their demolition of Barcelona, Nagelsmann’s side will be looking to pick apart a sub-par VFL Bochum side during the weekend. Bochum have just won one out of their 4 Bundesliga fixtures, while Bayern Munich head into the game on the back of their 6th successive victory in all competitions, looking to grab the top spot in the Bundesliga table, provided Wolfsburg drop points.
In this podcast, we will preview Bayern’s fixture against Bochum. Here are the key talking points:
- Nagelsmann’s ‘new-look’ Bayern
- Bayern’s defensive solidity
- Bochum’s form heading into the game
- Bochum’s key players
- The expected lineup for Bayern and a scoreline prediction