Bayern Munich are in Turkey! Not the whole team though — just whoever they could scrape together to make the trip. The club is in the midst of an injury crisis, and not even the players who made it on the plane can be considered “fully fit.” Thomas Tuchel needs to keep his club’s Champions League streak going with a heavily depleted squad, not an easy task when visiting a notoriously hostile away stadium.
It’s not great. Manuel Neuer, Leon Goretzka, Dayot Upamecano, Raphaël Guerreiro, and Serge Gnabry are all confirmed out — they didn’t make the trip to Turkey. Noussair Mazraoui, meanwhile, is doubtful for the game, as he only recently rejoined training after his muscle injury sustained during the international break.
(Update: Tuchel says that Mazraoui could feature against Galatasary, it depends on how he feels.)
In terms of the lineup, therefore, Thomas Tuchel has very few options. A theoretical lineup could be a 4-1-4-1, with only a single true midfielder in Joshua Kimmich. This would have Harry Kane up top and Leroy Sané and Kingsley Coman on the wings, with Thomas Müller and Jamal Musiala as co-attacking midfielders. This would naturally make the defense rather vulnerable, so the coach will have to hope that Mauro Icardi (who’s been having a second wind in Turkey after his flop stint at Paris Saint-Germain) will actually miss the game due to injury.
Speaking of defense, Matthijs de Ligt will have to start once again just three days after his last game, owing to the lack of options available. He will be paired alongside Kim Min-jae at center-back, with Alphonso Davies and Konrad Laimer as the left and right-backs respectively. Sven Ulreich is set to play his last game as a start, with Manuel Neuer expected to return to the starting XI from the Darmstadt game onward.
Here’s what a potential starting XI could look like:
Bild also thinks the same, though they have an interesting way of framing the lineup:
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