Two games into the 2022/23 competitive season and Bayern Munich have fielded a consistent starting XI. Look for that to continue over the next few weeks of Bundesliga action as the squad battles for first-choice status intensify. As reported in kicker, as captured by @iMiaSanMia:
[Bayern head coach] Julian Nagelsmann and his staff are planning to rotate the lineup once the midweek games start from the Pokal first round against Viktoria Köln (31 August)
That makes for three more Bundesliga games, but the midweek fixtures come hot and heavy after that with the arrival of the UEFA Champions League group stage, along with a September international break with two more Nations League matches.
In that respect, it’s a calm before the storm way of easing into the season.
There’s also actually been a little bit of in-game rotation via early-ish substitutions, helped by the lopsided scorelines of the first two matches.
Against RB Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup:
- 60’ — Kingsley Coman on; Jamal Musiala off
- 67’ — Ryan Gravenberch on; Thomas Müller off
Then against Eintracht Frankfurt on opening day:
- 57’ — Ryan Gravenberch on; Marcel Sabitzer off
- 65’ — Leroy Sané on; Thomas Müller off
- 65’ — Mathys Tel on; Serge Gnabry off
The notable one here is Thomas Müller coming off before the 70th minute each time. The soon-to-be 33-year old is a tireless worker and presser and has legs that need to be preserved for the full run of the season — as well as the Men’s World Cup.
(Aside: BFW’s own Phillip Quinn suggested in our internal Slack that until the business end of the season, Müller shouldn’t even be on the field if Bayern are up by two goals — and I agree!)
Likewise it looks like the team are keen to work the two teenage arrivals this transfer window (Tel, who was not available for the DFL-Supercup, and Gravenberch) quickly into match shape. It could be an early preview into starting candidates for Viktoria Köln. Other youngsters like Tanguy Nianzou and campus products Paul Wanner and Gabriel Vidović could also find the cup competitions to be their chance to feature.
It’s a big, big squad this year and it will be quite the challenge to juggle playing time to keep everyone happy and developing. But the fixtures will soon be coming at us fast. Hopefully, we’ll get to see plenty of everybody.