Update: 11:55AM EST
Wow...in a bit of shocking news, Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is — allegedly — going to start Jamal Musiala against Villarreal.
Nach den letzten Auftritten definitiv verdient: Jamal Musiala soll heute Abend gegen Villarreal in der Startelf der Bayern stehen. #FCBVIL— Tobi Altschäffl (@altobelli13) April 12, 2022
Definitely deserved after recent performances: Jamal Musiala should be in Bayern’s starting eleven tonight against Villarreal.
The big question is whose spot will Musiala take? Will it be one of the wingers (Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, or Kingsley Coman)? One of the central midfielders (Leon Goretzka or Joshua Kimmich)? Thomas Müller?
Julian Nagelsmann could also roll out a back-three have have Musiala take a defender’s place, while moving a winger to wing-back.
Who might Jamal Musiala replace?
This poll is closed
One of the wingers (Sane, Gnabry, Coman)?
One of the central midfielders (Kimmich, Goretzka)
One of the defenders (Julian Nagelsmann is going to use a back-three based formation)?
Update: 10:40PM EST
According to Bild, Bayern Munich star Leroy Sane could find himself in the starting lineup over Serge Gnabry. With that news, Bild released its predicted XI as well:
Expected lineups for tomorrow [Bild] pic.twitter.com/OTWCUDXJZ7— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) April 11, 2022
After dropping a 1-0 decision in Spain last week, the Bavarians are truly in do-or-die mode with little-to-no room for error. With that in mind, Julian Nagelsmann’s lineup selection will need to be completely on-point.
Julian Nagelsmann confirmed that Niklas Süle, Corentin Tolisso, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Bouna Sarr would all miss the Villarreal match and also that Marcel Sabitzer — despite his solid showing against FC Augsburg — would start on the bench.
Otherwise, Bayern Munich is healthy and there likely will not be many surprises in the starting XI.
Missing Süle is an absolute gut-punch, but that’s why the team has Lucas Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano. While Hernandez has been a rock this season, Upamecano has dealt with bouts of shakiness. How the center-backs handle the pressure that will be created from what could be a plethora of counterattacks they’ll face will be key. With two goals required, Bayern Munich will have to take some chances offensively, which will put the spotlight on Hernandez and Upamecano.
Just about the only position that Nagelsmann will have to make a tough call on is at wing. With Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, and Kingsley Coman all worthwhile choices, Nagelsmann is going to make someone unhappy. The feeling here is that it will be Sane because he has been struggling of late.
Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka should be the double pivot, but Jamal Musiala has an outside chance to start given Goretzka’s relatively iffy performance on Saturday. That, too, would be a controversial decision. Nagelsmann, though, will likely opt for the more experience and physically stronger Goretzka in this match, with Musiala ready to jump on as a game-changing sub, who could play a number of positions.
Here is our best guess at how Bayern Munich will be set up:
- Leroy Sane in for Serge Gnabry.
- Jamal Musiala in for Leon Goretzka.
- A back-three with Hernandez, Upamecano, and Benjamin Pavard at center-back, Kimmich and Goretzka in the midfield, Alphonso Davies and Coman at wing-back, and an attacking mix of Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, and Leroy Sane.
if you want more Bayern Munich vs. Villarreal talk, try getting ready for the match with our podcast!