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With Dayot Upamecano ailing, Bayern Munich could turn to a youngster at the No. 6

Joshua Kimmich is suspended for the next Bundesliga match against Heidenheim. Next man up?

Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Bayern Munich could be set for a shakeup in midfield and central defense against Heidenheim on Saturday, with Joshua Kimmich (suspension) and Dayot Upamecano (injury) both due to miss out.

Upamecano was recently rushed back due to a center-back shortage but is dealing with a muscle strain near the knee area that has scarily been dubbed the “Arjen Robben injury”, demanding extra caution. Although the 25-year-old has played in two consecutive matches for little over an hour each, Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel is reportedly loathe to keep the streak going.

“We definitely skipped a few steps, but in a responsible way. We checked everything. Upamecano won’t be playing 90 minutes,” Tuchel had said (via @iMiaSanMia) in advance of Bayern’s 4-0 Klassiker win over Borussia Dortmund last Saturday, Upamecano’s first game back.

Upamecano clocked 60 minutes at Dortmund and 72 minutes against Galatasaray.

According to Az journalist Maximilian Koch, the German manager doesn’t want the Frenchman subject to the strain of English weeks right away — likely shifting Leon Goretzka to central defense and, given Kimmich’s absence as well, 19-year-old Aleksander Pavlović to Kimmich’s spot in defensive midfield:

#Upamecano could get a break on Saturday against Heidenheim, Tuchel doesn’t really want to expect the defender to play three games in one week after recovering from a thigh injury. Goretzka in the starting eleven [as a center-back] is conceivable, Pavlović on the 6 next to Laimer. #FCBayern

That could be the second start for a youngster in midfield this season. 20-year-old Frans Krätzig started for Bayern in the ill-fated DFB-Pokal contest against Saarbrücken.

While we work on a podcast review of this game, you should absolutely check out our most recent episode — we talked about Bayern Munich’s triumphant win over BVB, the awesomeness of Harry Kane, and a lot more. Listen to it below or on Spotify.

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