A week ago, things were looking pretty good for Bayern Munich. They beat RB Leipzig 3-2 at home, and Dortmund’s loss to Leverkusen put the Recordmeister nine points clear at the top of the table. Now though, everything looks much more precarious. In case you’ve missed it, here’s why ...
Manuel Neuer is out four to six weeks with a knee injury. That alone should tell you dire the situation is right now. Meanwhile, Alphonso Davies and Leon Goretzka are both out indefinitely, meaning Julian Nagelsmann can’t rely on three of his most important starters. Bouna Sarr and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are back from AFCON, but that hardly makes up for the absentees. Meanwhile, Jamal Musiala has tested positive for Covid-19, making him unavailable in a game he was likely to feature.
In terms of the lineup, Nagelsmann doesn’t have many options. Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller have been Bayern’s best performers for three years running — they will lead the attack against Bochum. Joining them will likely be Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, and Serge Gnabry, with either Coman or Gnabry being tasked with a wingback role. Yes, that means we’re looking at a possible 3-4-3 again — not something fans will be looking forward to.
The midfield will probably have Joshua Kimmich paired with either Marcel Sabitzer or Corentin Tolisso. Given that this game is against Bochum (11th in the table), Nagelsmann may be tempted to give the former RB Leipzig man an outing to gain back his confidence. Let’s hope he does, because a fit and firing Sabitzer could be invaluable in the days to come.
The defense is questionable, because we don’t know what the coach will do with Niklas Sule. Benjamin Pavard missed training due to a suspected Covid test this past week, so Bild thinks that Nagelsmann may have no choice but to put Sule in the lineup. Is that a good idea? Who knows? We’ll have to rely on Sule’s professionalism to come through.
Lucas Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano are likely to fill the two other center-back spots, rounding out a back three. Sven Ulriech will take Manuel Neuer’s place in goal. In case all that’s confusing, here’s a lineup image:
- Benjamin Pavard in for any of the center-backs.
- Omar Richards in for one of the center-backs, switching to a standard back four.
- Marcel Sabitzer or Marc Roca in for Corentin Tolisso.
- Joshua Kimmich to RWB, with either Sabitzer or Roca moving into midfield.
So Bild agrees with our lineup. Hmmmm.
Bochum vs Bayern | Possible lineups [Bild] pic.twitter.com/wuXR2E7QbK— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) February 11, 2022