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Daily Schmankerl: Does Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich prefer playing with Marcel Sabitzer?; Can FC Barcelona take down Bayern?; Brazzo not sweating iffy start; Leroy Sané’s Barca dreams have not materialized; & MORE!

Okay’s Bayern Munich vs. FC Barcelona week!

FC Bayern München v VfB Stuttgart - Bundesliga Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Goretzka wants to play, Kimmich might want to roll with Sabitzer (kicker via @iMiaSanMia)

As if there was not enough drama at Bayern Munich these days, now it appears there could be a divide in the central midfield — if you believe kicker anyway.

Per kicker journalist Georg Holzner, Leon Goretzka is pushing for playing time ahead of the World Cup, but Joshua Kimmich might actually prefer playing with Marcel Sabitzer now:

All of this can be taken with a few grains of salt, but — if you open up your mind — you could at least somewhat see why Kimmich might prefer Sabitzer as his partner this season. When paired with Sabitzer, Kimmich has been allowed to push forward at will and take a more offensive role. With Goretzka, Kimmich has to be a little more cautious as one of Goretzka’s best traits is to bomb into the box.

To his credit, Sabitzer has changed his game, taken a more conservative approach, and become a stable defensive presence when Kimmich pushes forward.

I’m not saying the report is 100% true or that it is false...just that I guess you could see how it might be true.

Sané’s Barca dreams never materialized (Barca Universal)

Ahead of Bayern Munich’s big Champions League match against FC Barcelona, Barca Universal recalled a simpler time when Leroy Sané wanted to ply his trade in Catalonia:

Back in 2016, when Sane was still plying his trade for Schalke, he had voiced his desire to play for a top club in Europe. Barcelona were on the top of his list.

“It’s not a secret, I’d like to play for a big club… I’d especially like to play for Barça, it’s been my dream since I was a kid,” he said in 2016.

These days, Sané will be hoping to drop a few goals into the net against Barca, provided Julian Nagelsmann calls his number for the match.

Brazzo not sweating recent unlucky run just yet (Sport1 via @iMiaSanMia)

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić is not getting too anxious about his team’s recent run of bad form/bad luck.

“We didn’t get off to a good start. I think we missed out on four points. You can draw against Union, with the stadium, the atmosphere. But against Gladbach and Stuttgart we should’ve won,” said Hasan Salihamidžić.

For what it is worth, this is Bayern Munich’s worst start in 12 years — which is pretty astounding since the Bavarians have three wins, three draws, and no losses. It is not time for anyone to panic just yet.

One thing to watch play out is how Bayern Munich now adjusts to what other teams are doing. For the first few games, Julian Nagelsmann’s 4-2-2-2 confounded and overwhelmed the opposition, but like everything else in sports, teams will adjust. Surely, Nagelsmann and his staff are hard at work on how to best proceed.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up — Season 2, Episode 10 (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich pulled out a nice victory over Inter Milan in the Champions League after a disappointing showing against Union Berlin in the Bundesliga last weekend.

While Julian Nagelsmann has done a good job of managing his personnel, the recent lack of precision, efficiency, and synchronicity on offense has some fans mildly concerned.

Like always, there is plenty to talk about — including those issues listed above. Let’s take a look at what we have on tap for this week’s episode:

  • Why coaching is getting more difficult every year (as Thomas Tuchel and Domenico Tedesco found out — and as Jürgen Klopp might soon learn). Also, did we mention there are some unhappy players at Bayern Munich now?
  • The FC Barcelona is going to tell us a lot about where Bayern Munich is at this stage.
  • Matthijs de Ligt and Lucas Hernandez look great together.
  • The midfield conundrum...Leon Goretzka wants to start, but Marcel Sabitzer has been great? What will happen there.
  • Bayern Munich and Harry Kane might really be interested in forging a relationship in 2023.

Look at this (@Bundesliga_EN)

What a wonderfully insane table:

Is Barca poised to take down Bayern? (Barca Blaugranes)

Our sister site Barca Blaugranes put together a nice little post about how this time it could be vastly different from recent encounters between Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona. Here is a little excerpt (as always, you can get the whole post at the link above):

Bayern Munich will not have their way in front of goal this time. They’ll find it much tougher with Araujo, Kounde, and Christensen standing in their way.

Even more so when you consider their struggle to find a center-forward replacement for Lewandowski.

In spite of a strong performance against Inter Milan last week, the Bavarians have not been at their best in the Bundesliga, most recently dropping points to Stuttgart on Saturday.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Postgame Show — Bayern Munich 2-2 VfB Stuttgart (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich’s game against VfB Stuttgart was nothing short of a well-contested affair. Well contested, that is, by Stuttgart alone. Bayern almost didn’t seem interested in winning the game, and almost everybody saw that draw coming. It was well deserved, in a game when so many players performed terribly.

Die Roten cannot simply rely on individual brilliance to bail them out all the time. With Barcelona up next, the team has to get everything right, including the passion and the urgency to put the game to bed. This performance, if anything, paints a rather bleak picture.

That being said, here are the talking points from the podcast:

  • The stat sheet, and how it doesn’t correlate with the result.
  • Bayern Munich’s complacency.
  • Matthijs de Ligt’s howler of a game.
  • Serge Gnabry’s appalling form, and whether he should be starting anytime soon for Bayern.
  • Why Marcel Sabitzer should be starting over Leon Goretzka against FC Barcelona.
  • Why the team needs to change a lot against Barcelona.

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