It has been a difficult season for Matthijs de Ligt at Bayern Munich thus far, as he was out of favor with Thomas Tuchel and then experienced an injury setback during his first start of the season, which was the 7-0 win over VfL Bochum. De Ligt scored in that match but was replaced at halftime by Dayot Upamecano because he sustained a knee problem that kept him out of action for a couple of weeks for both club and country.
De Ligt clocked 90 minutes in Bayern’s 3-1 win over Mainz in the Bundesliga, as he started alongside Kim Min-jae since Tuchel is running low on defensive options. Upamecano, Noussair Mazraoui, and Raphaël Guerreiro are all still out injured. As he has done on a handful of occasions this season, Tuchel had to start Konrad Laimer at the right back spot, but Bouna Sarr eventually assumed that role when he replaced Leon Goretzka midway through the second half.
Tuchel all but confirmed that the trio of Upamecano, Guerreiro and Mazraoui will all also be out for the midweek Champions League clash against Galatasaray, which means that he really does not have any other choice but to start De Ligt alongside Kim once again. He confirmed this sentiment after the win over Mainz.
“He (De Ligt) has to [play every three days for now]. We have to say that. We have no other choice because Upa is out,” Tuchel explained when he was asked about the defensive injuries in the squad and whether or not he will have to keep playing De Ligt while there are so many absentees (via @iMiaSanMia).
For Bayern and De Ligt, it is a bit of a calculated risk since he is only just coming back from a knee problem himself, but Tuchel does not have many other options right now. In the first round DFB-Pokal match, he did use a center back pairing of Goretzka and Mazraoui due to other players not being available, but there is certainly more reason to try that against a side like SC Preußen Münster as opposed to some of the Bundesliga or Champions League sides Bayern will face.