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Weekend Warm-up: Where does Bayern Munich need the most help?; An entertainment rundown; Throwing it back to Bell X1; Bundesliga predictions; and MORE!

Are you ready for Bayern Munich vs. VfB Stuttgart?

1. FSV Mainz 05 v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

With the acquisition of Noussair Mazraoui looking more and more likely, Bayern Munich is filling a major hole in the roster heading into the 2022/23 season.

With Julian Nagelsmann expected to implement a 3-4-2-1 system, adding a right wing-back was absolutely vital to the manager’s plans. Certainly, however, there will be more move on the Bayern Munich team sheet and with the end of the season nearing, now is as good a time as any to see what kind of help the club might need.

Below, we’ve broken down the roster into four parts and tried to examine what things might look like. Take a look and then give us your own idea about where Bayern Munich could use the most help for next season.

For the purposes of this exercise we are assuming Robert Lewandowski is not going anywhere, Serge Gnabry could potentially leave, and Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch are very likely to join the club.

1. FSV Mainz 05 v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga
Could Serge Gnabry leave this summer?
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Attack

  • Likely to be back: Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, Kingsley Coman, Jamal Musiala, and Leroy Sane.
  • Losses: No confirmed exits.
  • Potential exits: Serge Gnabry (sale), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (sale), Gabriel Vidovic (loan), Malik Tillman (loan/sale).
  • Rumored acquisitions: Nothing concrete at this point.
  • Analysis: Deep and talented, this group can operate in Nagelsmann’s preferred system or Bayern Munich’s traditional 4-2-3-1. With Lewandowski staying in town for at least one more season, scoring won’t be a problem, but the Bavarians are going to have to sort out who could potentially replace the Polish Hitman over the course of next season — which won’t be awkward at all.

If Choupo-Moting moves on (which is not exactly a likely scenario, though we have seen some rumbles of interest in the back-up striker), we could see Bayern Munich make a move for a dependable back-up behind Lewandowski. In addition, if Gnabry cannot reach a deal with the club, Bayern Munich might seek to bring in another attacker — even if they might not necessarily need one.

Eintracht Frankfurt v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga
Paul Wanner is in the plans for next season, but how much will the youngster actually play?
Photo by Christina Pahnke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Midfield

  • Likely to be back: Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Paul Wanner.
  • Losses: No confirmed exits.
  • Potential exits: Corentin Tolisso (free transfer), Marc Roca (sale), Marcel Sabitzer (sale).
  • Rumored acquisitions: Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Konrad Laimer (RB Leipzig).
  • Analysis: Even if the Gravenberch acquisition goes through, Bayern Munich might still need another one or two midfielders if Roca and Sabitzer leave. Tolisso is likely to bolt and it is difficult to envision either Roca or Sabitzer remaining happy as deep reserves for another season. With no real depth that is ready in the academy, Bayern will have to make some moves or prepare Paul Wanner for a baptism by fire.

As for Laimer, it appears unlikely that RB Leipzig would let him go to Bayern Munich and would even be willing to lose him for free in 2023 as relations between the clubs have turned a bit frosty. Whatever the case, Bayern Munich could be looking at adding up to three midfielders this summer, which could get costly (in terms of salaries and transfer fees) if the clubs wants to acquire quality.

1. FSV Mainz 05 v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga
A move to center-back is something Benjamin Pavard has been wanting for a while.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Defense

  • Likely to be back: Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Tanguy Nianzou, Alphonso Davies, Omar Richards.
  • Losses: Niklas Süle (Borussia Dortmund).
  • Potential exits: Josip Stanisic (loan), Bouna Sarr (sale), Chris Richards (loan/sale).
  • Rumored acquisitions: Noussair Mazraoui (Ajax).
  • Analysis: The Mazraoui move should solidify the backline, but the Bavarians still appear one center-back short of having real depth — especially with a potential move to a back-three system. I think the club would feel a lot better with either Sarr or Stanisic hanging around be a formal back-up behind Mazraoui, because it is hard to envision Bayern Munich adding two players for the position during the summer transfer window. Both Stanisic and Sarr, though, have been linked to moves away from Bavaria.

Nianzou has been unsteady at best this season and an injury to Hernandez, Upamecano or a Pavard could prove to be crippling. Another center-back is desperately needed — especially given Hernandez’s injury history, the inconsistency of Upamecano, and the uncertainty surrounding how Pavard will adapt to a full-time role as a center-back. As stated above, Nianzou is just not a reliable option at this stage. Chris Richards, though, could be a very valuable player to Bayern Munich if the club decides to hold on to him. The USMNT defender is already a proven starter in the Bundesliga thanks to his loan stint at Hoffenheim and could allow the club to bank more funds for what should be a very active 2023 summer transfer window a little over a year from now.

Goalkeeper

  • Likely to be back: Manuel Neuer
  • Potential exits: Sven Ulreich (free transfer), Christian Früchtl (sale).
  • Rumored acquisitions: Stefan Ortega.
  • Analysis: Alexander Nübel is almost assuredly staying with AS Monaco for another season and likely will never come back to Bayern Munich on a permanent basis if Neuer re-ups his deal. It can be assumed that Ulreich will sign another one-year extension at some point soon, unless Bayern Munich opts to go hard after Stefan Ortega, who could be a freee transfer, but would likely have a more expensive salary than Ulreich. Früchtl could also move on because he has also hit a wall with his development at Bayern Munich.

So...how do you think things are looking? What would you add? Who would you add? Drop your suggestions in the comments.

Poll

What position group needs the most help going into next season?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Attack
    (26 votes)
  • 23%
    Midfield
    (92 votes)
  • 48%
    Defense
    (188 votes)
  • 0%
    Goalkeeper
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    Every position is solid — no major additions are needed.
    (9 votes)
  • 17%
    Multiple areas need help (drop them in the comments)
    (69 votes)
385 votes total Vote Now

Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. VfB Stuttgart

Simply put, this game means everything for VfB Stuttgart and absolutely nothing for the Ibiza Bunch...err, Bayern Munich.

I kid, I kid.

I could not care any less about the Ibiza trip, but the Bavarians will have to play much better — and will need to show more life — than they did last week. This is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • A look at where each squad is in the table.
  • A look at the recent form for both squads.
  • Some key players to watch for VfB Stuttgart.
  • Why this match could go a long way in determining if VfB Stuttgart gets relegated.
  • The after-effects of some youngsters being left out of the squad last week.
  • A guess at who Julian Nagelsmann might start (Hint: This could be a very veteran-laden lineup to start the match).
  • A prediction on the match.

Song of the Week: “The Great Defector” by Bell X1

The first time I heard this tune, I thought it was a lost Talking Heads song, which could be the reason I enjoy it so much. Apparently, I was not the only one who caught that vibe (from Wikipedia):

Vocalist Paul Noonan has compared the song’s style to that of Talking Heads. The song was recorded in November 2008 in Ballycumber House, “a big, draughty, stately home... ...under the beady gaze of musty portraits of the Lords and Ladies of the estate from the 15th century”. Jim Farber of the New York Daily News has praised Noonan’s “flair for dialogue and his keen way with a metaphor”, claiming “his cruel writing will make you swoon”. “The Great Defector” was given its debut live performance on 11 July 2008 during Oxegen 2008.

Released in 2009 (gah!), this single was the biggest, most successful song from the band’s “Blue Lights on the Runway” album. Enjoy:


Entertainment Rundown

I am still working my way through both Better Call Saul and Ozark. Better Call Saul has been excellent and Ozark is as tense as ever. I’m expecting to make some good progress on Ozark this weekend.

At some point, I am also gong to sit down and watch The Batman, but have not had the time to dedicate to that marathon watch just yet.

If you were a Game of Thrones fan, the next iterations of that story — a prequel titled House of the Dragon — is slated to be released this summer:

I was a major Game of Thrones guy through just about everything until the writers and showrunners killed (in a bad way) the final season with a rushed, haphazard ending. To see such an epic story crammed into a few episodes with blurry timelines, botched storylines, and the loss of much of what made the show great, I still have a bad taste in my mouth.

Any show I watch I consider an investment of my time and for all of the great things about Game of Thrones, the final season was just a mess that made the show lose a lot of its luster.


Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 48

Another week is in the books and after Bayern Munich’s controversial trip to Ibiza, things didn’t really settle down.

An unfortunate loss to Mainz and the Ibiza fiasco were followed by a big contract extension, and a whole lot more — which resulted in a good discussion from Chuck and Jake on a number of topics.

Yup, two dudes doing a Weekend Warm-up podcast at the same time!

Here is what we have on tap:

  • A look at Thomas Müller’s contract extension, what it means for the club, and how Julian Nagelsmann could have tough decisions to make.
  • A discussion on Robert Lewandowski’s contract status and why it just makes sense for him to play at least one more year at Bayern Munich.
  • Thoughts on where Leroy Sane stands after two years and how he’s lived (or not lived) up to expectations.
  • Borussia Dortmund’s new acquisitions and why they could be building something good.
  • A look at the week in Europe as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City choked...again — and some admiration for the Europa League’s German contingent, RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Predictions

Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann is a bit ticked off after last week’s debacle against Mainz 05 and is likely to hit VfB Stuttgart with a powerful attack this weekend.

It did not take Nagelsmann even a full season to go full John Kreese and I love it. Strike first, strike hard, no mercy Jules…

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 VfL Stuttgart

Other Bundesliga predictions include:

  • VfL Bochum 2-2 Arminia Bielefeld
  • FC Köln 1-1 Wolfsburg
  • SC Freiburg 2-1 Union Berlin
  • SpVgg Greuther Fürth 1-4 Borussia Dortmund
  • Hoffenheim 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen
  • Hertha Berlin 1-2 Mainz 05
  • Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
  • RB Leipzig 3-2 FC Augsburg

Prediction records

Terrible week…terrible.

Last Bundesliga Match Day record: 3-6

Overall Bundesliga record: 149-139

DFB-Pokal record: 1-1

DFL-Supercup record: 1-0

Champions League record: 7-3

Overall record: 158-143

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