After a much-needed international break to stop the bleeding, Bayern Munich are back in action this Friday and desperate to get back on track. Julian Nagelsmann faces his counterpart Gerardo Seoane in the midst of a crisis at Leverkusen, who have only won a single game in the league this season.
Still, die Werkself are a dangerous side, who easily dispatched Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in the Champions League a few weeks back. With Bayern also suffering from a mini-crisis at the moment, the team cannot afford to go easy on anyone.
Lucas Hernandez (hamstring), Bouna Sarr (patella), Paul Wanner (Covid), and Kingsley Coman (hamstring) are all confirmed to be unavailable for the game. Coman should be back by next week, while Lucas will take still longer to recover. Meanwhile, Leon Goretzka, who suffered a knock in training yesterday, is fit and ready to play.
So what do we expect the lineup to look like? Well, despite the poor results, Nagelsmann will probably stick to his tried-and-tested 4-2-2-2 formation. Sadio Mane is the main candidate to start up top, likely paired with Thomas Muller. Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala are the team’s in-form wingers at the moment, so they’ll likely get the nod over the inconsistent Serge Gnabry.
This team has a serious problem with scoring goals at the moment, and the forwards need to step up and deliver some consistent quality in the final third if Bayern are to negotiate its way out of this slump. Of course, that’s always easier said than done. Friday’s outcome rests on the shoulders of the attack.
In midfield, Joshua Kimmich will likely pair up with Marcel Sabitzer, with Leon Goretzka getting a rest to let him recover from Covid (which he caught last week). Ryan Gravenberch could also be an outside candidate to start, though Nagelsmann may be eyeing next week’s Viktoria Plzen game to give the Dutchman his minutes. Whatever happens, if he doesn’t start soon, discontentment could start festering in the squad.
As for the defense — Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano will almost certainly pair up at center-back, flanked by Alphonso Davies on the left and Benjamin Pavard on the right. Davies really shouldn’t be playing a full 90 so soon after the international break, but the Canadian HAS done it before and proven that he can perform even after a grueling travel schedule with Canada. Manuel Neuer, meanwhile, is expected to reprise his role in goal (and backup striker).
Here’s what the lineup should look like:
Here are Tz’s lineup predictions:
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