Bayern Munich are wobbling. The team is in a state of disarray after injuries and a shock loss to Saarbrücken have crushed whatever confidence Thomas Tuchel was building in his squad, and just ahead of a very important game. While neither Bayern nor Borussia Dortmund are top of the table right now, this game tends to decide the title race — one way or another.
So, what’ll it be?
Bayern Munich have very few options across the pitch. The offense is the only part of the team in good shape — the midfield has been decimated with Joshua Kimmich getting a red card suspension, and Leon Goretzka doubtful due to a recovering hand injury. The defense is similarly beleaguered, as Matthijs de Ligt is ruled out for several weeks with a knee injury, and Dayot Upamecano is still not 100% fit. In Tuchel’s own words, either Goretzka or Upamecano HAVE to play, so it’ll be up to the coach to decide who’s fitter once the day arrives.
So, what kind of starting XI can we expect? It’s down to the attack to make something happen. That means Harry Kane, Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala, and Kingsley Coman, with possibly Thomas Müller if Musiala is needed in midfield.
Assuming Noussair Mazraoui can take over for him at right-back, Konrad Laimer would therefore start as the lone No. 6 (or something akin to it) in the middle of the pitch, tasked with doing ... something to the Borussia Dortmund buildup so that it can’t exert outsized pressure on the Bayern defense.
The defense will need all the help it can get. It’ll probably be a half-fit hodgepodge with Alphonso Davies, Kim Min-jae, Dayot Upamecano (or Leon Goretzka), and Noussair Mazraoui. If Manuel Neuer has any heroics left in him, he’d better bring them out, because the team may need them if it comes down to it.
Here’s what the XI could look like:
Meanwhile, here’s the lineup Bild predicts, complete with a Goretzka-Laimer pivot:
Bayern's predicted XI against Dortmund, according to @BILD:— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) November 3, 2023
Neuer - Mazraoui, Upamecano, Kim, Davies - Goretzka, Laimer - Sané, Musiala, Coman - Kane
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