Matchday 1 of the 2022/23 edition of the UEFA Champions League is upon us, and Bayern Munich kick off the campaign with a real blockbuster tie. Inter Milan are one of the best teams in Italy and — though their recent form might not indicate it — they have a solid chance of beating anyone at their home ground of the San Siro.
Let’s look at how Julian Nagelsmann and his boys are shaping up for this competition.
Not many absentees to note. Mathys Tel is doubtful for the game because of a minor injury, but he was unlikely to feature anyway. Bouna Sarr is supposedly fit, but didn’t travel with the team to Italy. Other than that, everyone should be ready to play. Even Leon Goretzka is a candidate to start from minute 1, though Nagelsmann noted that he lacks rhythm.
So, what will the lineup look like? Well, first let’s assume that Thomas Muller and Sadio Mane will indeed start. Jamal Musiala will likely play behind them in the attacking midfield spot, leaving one last place for either Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, or Kingsley Coman. Since Sane and Coman started against Union, let’s assume Gnabry will get the nod for Inter. He is quite capable in the CL, after all.
The midfield is unlikely to change, no matter what Nagelsmann says in his press conference. Simone Inzaghi is likely planning a midfield three consisting of Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, and Hakan Calhanoglu, Bayern will counter with the tried and tested pairing of Marcel Sabitzer and Joshua Kimmich. Indeed, Kimmich was specifically subbed off early in the draw vs Union, ostensibly to save his legs for this game. He will not miss this one. Sabitzer, meanwhile, will want to prove he can retain his starting spot vs elite opposition, especially with Goretzka and Gravenberch breathing down his neck.
In defense, Nagelsmann mentioned a goal threat on set pieces, maybe hinting at a start for Matthijs de Ligt. The Dutchman is imperious in the air, and has proven useful even on offense (on occasion). Inter are expected to play conservatively, so having an aerial threat could help Bayern break down their defense.
De Ligt will probably be paired with Lucas Hernandez, who was fully rested vs Union. Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard fill out the left and right-back spots respectively, while captain and keeper Manuel Neuer dons the gloves (as usual).
Here’s what that lineup could look like:
- Sane or Coman in for Gnabry in the attack.
- Leon Goretzka in for Marcel Sabitzer in midfield.
- Dayot Upamecano in for Matthijs de Ligt in defense.
Tz predicts that Kingsley Coman will start. Nothing from Bild as of yet.
Meanwhile, Andre Onana might be set to play over Handanovic. That's a surprise.
André Onana will start in goal against Bayern tonight. Samir Handanović dropped [@marifcinter]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) September 7, 2022
Interested in more analysis of the game? Why not check out our podcast? In our latest episode, we previewed the upcoming clash vs Inter Milan and also talked about Bayern’s recent struggles in attack. Listen to it below or at this link.
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