It begins. With the World Cup scheduled for this winter, the top European leagues are set to begin a massive scramble to finish their fixtures before domestic football takes a break. For Bayern Munich this means an incredibly grueling schedule — two games a week until the first half Bundesliga, Champions League, and DFB Pokal games are over.
It’s a good thing Brazzo spent so much money this summer, because these games will be a test of the squad’s depth. And the first test is here.
According to Nagelsmann, the entire team is fit, but some major starters can expect to be rested for this game. Sadio Mane, Leroy Sane, and Kingsley Coman can probably count themselves among those rested in attack, while Lucas Hernandez may finally get a breather in defense. So what will the lineup look like? Well let’s see.
French wonderkid Mathys Tel is set to get his first start for Bayern — he hasn’t played much since joining, which is to be expected from a 17-year-old. A game against Viktoria Koln is a great opportunity for him to stretch his legs and log some minutes alongside the senior team.
Joining him will likely be Thomas Muller (confirmed by the coach) and Serge Gnabry (who started on the bench against Gladbach) and possibly one of either Leroy Sane or Kingsley Coman. The former is more likely since he was subbed off before FT in Bayern’s last game, and could use the confidence boost from playing a lower-tier side.
In midfield, Ryan Gravenberch is set to start alongside Joshua Kimmich for the first time, giving Marcel Sabitzer some rest for the upcoming games. Leon Goretzka is also back in the squad for this game, but Nagelsmann confirmed that he would not be in the starting lineup. Expect to see him later in the game as a substitute.
Finally, in defense — Noussair Mazraoui is set to come in for Benjamin Pavard, while Josip Stanisic will probably start as the fullback on the opposite flank. Lucas Hernandez and Alphonso Davies could get some rest, with Dayot Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt starting together at center-back. No indications of whether Sven Ulreich will play over Manuel Neuer — for the moment, we’ll assume Bayern’s captain gets the start. That could easily change tomorrow, though.
It’s hard to predict a lineup with so many moving parts. Still, here’s our best guess:
Here's Bild’s predicted lineup. Not too different. They have Lucas instead of Upa in the XI.
Bayern's predicted XI against Viktoria Köln, according to @BILD:— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 30, 2022
Neuer – Mazraoui, de Ligt, Hernández, Stanišić – Kimmich, Gravenberch – Coman, Sané – Müller, Tel
Looking for a more in-depth preview of the game? Why not check out our preview podcast? We covered both Gladbach and Viktoria Koln in one, so maybe skip ahead a little. Listen to it below or at this link.
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