When the zombie version of Bayern Munich faces off against an only partially dead version of Borussia Mönchengladbach, things will assuredly not look like we remember them from way back in 2021.
The Bavarians are ravaged by COVID-19, injured, and altogether out of sorts given just how many key players are unavailable. At the time of this post, the normal player pool has the following situations to deal with:
- COVID-19: Manuel Neuer, Dayot Upamecano, Omar Richards, Leroy Sané, Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernández, Tanguy Nianzou, Corentin Tolisso, Alphonso Davies, Christopher Scott
- African Cup of Nations: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bouna Sarr
- Sick — Doubtful: Gabriel Vidovic
- Injuries — Doubtful: Josip Stanišić, Leon Goretzka
- Injuries — Probable: Niklas Süle
Surely, this is not ideal, but it is not absurd to think that the remaining Bayern Munich players cannot will a patchwork squad to a victory. Even without all of those unavailable players, Bayern Munich still features Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Marcel Sabitzer, Marc Roca, Benjamin Pavard, Sven Ulreich, and Süle — that is not such a bad place to start.
And sure, we all know that Gladbach is officially the “Chico’s Bail Bonds Bogey Team of the Season” for Bayern Munich, but why can’t that cast of Bavarians do something special with a little help from their Bayern Munich II friends like Bright Arrey-Mbi, Lucas Copado, Nico Feldhahn, Taylor Booth, Jamie Lawrence, Paul Wanner, and Arijon Ibrahimovic?
Personally, I’m not just exited to see those regulars back in action and trying to push the team to victory — I’m psyched about potentially seeing some of those other players get an opportunity. Booth is a potential USMNT player down the road, while Ibrahimovic is one of the most intriguing players on Bayern Munich’s campus. Copado, Arrey-Mbi, Wanner, and Lawrence all have shown spurts of their quality, while Feldhahn is the grizzled veteran presence you need just for a situation like this.
I’m not going to sit back and lament where things are...I just want to ponder where this group could be going. This is just the first step in a long journey for the Rückrunde. What better way to start the fun than by taking down your bogey team with a makeshift squad?
Song of the Week: “Ready to Go” by Republica
The 90s string continues — and this week we’ve got “Ready to Go” by Republica as our featured tune.
Released in 1996, this song was pretty huge at the time on the alt-rock scene and even ventured into the mainstream as sporting events in the United States picked it up to become a staple of “stadium rock.”
While Republica’s smash hit did not officially appear on the “Jock Jams” albums, I can assure you the upbeat rock was heard early and often in stadiums and arenas. Anyway, “Ready to Go” floats that line that alt-rock can sometimes walk between rock and dance...and it just works even now. Enjoy:
This would be an apt theme for Bayern Munich today as well. There is no point in feeling sorry for yourself.
ICYMI: The Bavarian Podcast Works Preview Show
Let’s take a quick look at what is on tap for this episode (and it would be shocking if most Bayern Munich fans are not heading straight for the tap to watch this one):
- A look at who is in and who is out for this match.
- Why Gladbach might be even more of a mess at this stage than Bayern Munich.
- Some excitement for seeing the Bayern youngsters.
- A prediction on the match.
The return of Kimmich
Joshua Kimmich is back baby!
The Germany international went from “favorite son” status to “persona non grata” thanks to his confusing stance on getting vaccinated. If you take ALL of that out of the mix and just focus on the football, there is not a better time for Kimmich to return than right here, right now (sorry Jesus Jones).
Where will Kimmich play, though? Given the absences, we could see the 26-year-old in the central midfield, at right-back, or even at center-back. Really, it does not matter. It will be great to have Kimmich back and bringing his special brand of intensity and skill to the pitch.
Surely, Julian Nagelsmann is ecstatic to see Kimmich back on the roster sheet.
ICYMI: The Weekend Warm-Up Podcast
At this point, it feels like Bayern Munich is battling the Black Plague, Godzilla, and Thanos all at once, but such is 2022.
Even with all of that, the Bavarians have an exciting match against Gladbach and a whole lot more to talk about. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:
- A quick look at why Bayern Munich vs. Gladbach is exciting.
- Why Julian Nagelsmann should walk into the locker room before the match, flip over a table and tell his team, “We’ll do it live!”
- The latest news on Kingsley Coman’s transfer saga and why he might be taking control of the situation.
- Why Bayern (hopefully) will not be making a run at Ousmane Dembele or Raphinha this summer.
Let’s be honest, neither team is set-up ideally for this match-up.
As mentioned, Bayern Munich has a skeleton crew and Gladbach is currently a dumpster fire. Normally this would make for a “blah” game, but this match just has so many minor subplots to follow that it should be a blast to follow.
I’m going with my rationale that Bayern Munich’s veterans will have something to prove and that will be enough to dispatch Die Fohlen — even if Gladbach is Bayern Munich’s official bogey team for the 2021/22 season.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Union Berlin
- SC Freiburg 1-0 Arminia Bielefeld
- SpVgg Greuther Fürth 1-2 VfB Stuttgart
- Hoffenheim 3-2 FC Augsburg
- RB Leipzig 2-1 Mainz 05
- Eintracht Frankfurt 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
- Hertha Berlin 1-1 FC Köln
- VfL Bochum 1-3 Wolfsburg
Last Bundesliga Match Day record: 3-6
Overall Bundesliga record: 80-72
DFB-Pokal record: 1-1
DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
Champions League record: 6-0
Overall record: 88-73
Guest prognosticator record: 0-1 (Cowards)