It hasn’t even been three months since Bayern Munich kicked off their final Bundesliga game of the 2021/22 season, and the team is already back in action. Thanks to the World Cup, we’re having an especially early Bundesliga opener this campaign, that too against Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Eagles have had a solid record against Bayern these past few seasons, regularly causing upsets and even the sacking of a coach (on occasion). Given that Julian Nagelsmann is under extra pressure to get results this season, the game against Eintracht will be a perfect litmus test to see how Bayern are shaping up for the upcoming campaign.
In terms of injuries and absentees, Bayern will have to do without Leon Goretzka (knee), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (adductor), and Kingsley Coman (red card suspension). UEFA have confirmed the registration of Mathys Tel so the 17-year-old striker could make his debut (as a substitute) for this game, while Manuel Neuer’s participation is in slight doubt due to GI problems.
So how will the team line up? Based on what we saw against Leipzig, Nagelsmann wants to field his team in a 4-2-2-2 formation, which somewhat resembles a 4-2-4 in the attacking phase. Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mané are the preferred strike pairing up front, with Jamal Musiala and Thomas Müller supporting them from behind. It’s a fluid setup with no clear target man, which was the expected outcome of planning without Robert Lewandowski at the helm. It did rather well against RBL, but the Eagles under Oliver Glasner are sure to test its mettle with a resolute defense.
The midfield will likely be a pivot consisting of Joshua Kimmich and Marcel Sabitzer, with Ryan Gravenberch being the most likely candidate to come off the bench. The Dutchman has been getting rave reviews from his teammates and coaches and can expect plenty of minutes this season, but for now seniority takes precedence. Sabitzer has been in especially good form as of late, and will want to perform well to redeem himself from his catastrophic outing last campaign.
In defense, neither Matthijs de Ligt nor Noussair Mazraoui are likely to start just yet. Nagelsmann will probably go with his first choice XI from the Leipzig game, which puts Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard on either side of a defensive pairing consisting of Lucas Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano. This exceedingly French backline held RBL at bay for a solid 60 minutes before subs, so hopefully the same can happen for an extended duration against Frankfurt this Friday.
Rounding out the lineup, we assume that Manuel Neuer WILL be fit enough to play. If not, then the armband will likely pass to Thomas Muller while Sven Ulreich takes his place between the sticks.
Here’s what Bayern’s first Bundesliga XI of the season could look like:
Here are the predicted lineups from kicker. Bild seems to be slacking on that front lately.
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