With the Champions League group stage done and dusted, Bayern Munich can shift focus on the final few Bundesliga games leading up to the World Cup. Hertha Berlin’s cross-town neighbors are still top of the table, and they’re set for a nice long vacation while all the internationals on the Bayern roster play their hearts (and hamstrings) out in the Qatari heat. So every single point at this stage matters, and Julian Nagelsmann will have to balance his players’ fatigue with their need for playing time.
Manuel Neuer, Leroy Sane, and Lucas Hernandez are back in the squad (yay!) but Thomas Muller and Matthijs de Ligt are confirmed to be out of the game (boo!). Muller is scheduled to be back next week, but De Ligt is suddenly suffering from knee problems and will apparently be out for the time being. No more details from Nagelsmann in the press conference.
So, in terms of the lineup —
Robert Lewandowski Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will start up top like last time, flanked by Sadio Mane and Serge Gnabry on the wings. Jamal Musiala will likely start in the attacking midfield position, while Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman come on as 60th or 70th minute subs. Mathys Tel? Maybe a late entry into the game if Bayern are leading.
Midfield-wise, Leon Goretzka should return to the XI after sitting out vs Inter Milan, he’ll pair Joshua Kimmich in the middle. Legend has it that if you type “Joshua Kimmich needs a rest” into the comments section, he’ll appear behind you like Bloody Mary. Don’t do it.
In defense, Alphonso Davies and Noussair Mazraoui should start at the left and right-back positions respectively, while Dayot Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard reprise their continued roles at center-back. Pavard is Upa’s third medium-term CB partner this season, and you have to credit the 24-year-old for maintaining his consistency and rhythm despite so many injuries to the defense. He’s the main reason Bayern’s defense has looked so sturdy as of late. Meanwhile, Manuel Neuer is traveling to Berlin, and he should be in the lineup tomorrow. There’s a chance he might not make it, but fingers crossed, we hope he plays.
Here’s what the XI should look like:
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