Bayern Munich are off to a fine start this season. With three straight wins and a trophy already under his belt, Julian Nagelsmann would be breathing easy if he were in charge of most clubs. Unfortunately he isn’t, and here it only takes a small slip-up to turn things into crisis.
VfL Bochum are no strangers to causing Bayern an upset. If they pull it off again, the team will have a lot to answer for.
It’s not looking good. Leon Goretzka remains sidelined due to his knee injury, while Jamal Musiala has been ruled out due to a minor adductor issue. Serge Gnabry has a wrist injury and some adductor problems, Dayot Upamecano took a knock to his fibula in training, and Matthijs de Ligt has a torn ligament in his hand. On the positive end of things, Kingsley Coman returns from his suspension and is ready to start.
So, what will the lineup look like? Well, assuming that the coach sticks to his established 4-2-2-2 formation, we can probably expect to see Sadio Mane paired with Thomas Muller up top, supported by Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane from behind. It doesn’t actually matter where they’re listed in the lineup, because the whole setup is fluid and changes with the state of the game. The loss of Jamal Musiala is a huge blow to the team, but this gives Leroy Sane a potential chance to show his quality in the new system.
In midfield, Marcel Sabitzer and Joshua Kimmich should reprise their roles for the fourth game running. Before the injuries, the original plan was to have minimal rotation for this match so Nagelsmann will at least want to keep his midfield setup the same, especially when they’re both performing so well. Familiarity with the setup can only make the team stronger, and rotation might become easier down the line as well.
Finally, you have the defense. It’s a shame that Tanguy Nianzou got sold days before half of Bayern’s defenders got injured, because he could’ve had a golden chance to start. No matter, Benjamin Pavard will likely slot into the empty center-back spot next to Lucas Hernandez, while new signing Noussair Mazraoui can take his place at right-back. Alphonso Davies, as usual, should expect to start in his left-back spot. Manuel Neuer, meanwhile, will play in goal.
Here is what that XI could look like:
- Jopsip Stanisic instead of Noussair Mazraoui at right-back.
- Dayot Upamecano or Matthijs de Ligt in for Noussair Mazraoui, with Pavard staying at right-back.
- A surprise Musiala start!
Bild predicts a start from Matthijs de Ligt at center-back.
Bayern's predicted XI against Bochum, according to @BILD:— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 19, 2022
Neuer – Pavard, de Ligt, Hernández, Davies – Kimmich, Sabitzer – Müller, Coman - Mané, Sané
However De Ligt, Upamecano, and Gnabry could all be potential options if fit. Jamal Musiala is a lot less likely to play.
Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano and Serge Gnabry all trained with the team today. Jamal Musiala jogged individually [@BILD]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 20, 2022
Unfortunately Musiala is definitely confirmed out.
Jamal Musiala did not travel with the team to Bochum to avoid any injury risks. Coman and Sané set to start today [@altobelli13]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 21, 2022
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