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Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich: Lineups, team news, injuries, playing without a striker, and more! (Update: Sadio Mane to start?)

The only two Bundesliga clubs left in Europe clash this weekend!

FC Bayern München v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

With the international break coming up and a tiny gap opened at the top of the Bundesliga table, Bayern Munich have a chance to consolidate before the most important part of the season begins. Julian Nagelsmann faces the only other German team still left in Europe, former Bayern midfielder Xabi Alonso. Alonso has done an amazing job resurrecting Leverkusen from the dead, and while they will be a little tired from their midweek exertions, they still present a important challenge to overcome.

Team news

The big news is that Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is out with a back injury. Mathys Tel is reportedly also suffering from muscle stiffness, so he may not be fit to start. This means Bayern Munich may have to go strikerless vs Leverkusen. Given how the team have become reliant on Choupo’s presence up top for his movement and linkup play, trying to go without him may make it difficult for the attack to build any momentum.

Julian Nagelsmann has plenty of options for his starting XI, but it’s not clear who will actually play. Thomas Muller may start up top, supported by Jamal Musiala behind him, and Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman on the flanks. This is just a guess, since Nagelsmann could theoretically field any combination of attackers on Sunday.

The midfield will be held by Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich — don’t expect any surprises there. Ryan Gravenberch will have to wait a little longer to get a start. Meanwhile, the defense is another area where the coach has plenty of options to choose from. Alphonso Davies could start at left-back, with a back-three of Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano, and Benjamin Pavard in the center. Yann Sommer is likely to be in goal.

Here’s what a potential starting XI may look like:

Honestly it’s very hard to predict a lineup since we don’t actually know who Nagelsmann’s 3rd choice striker is. Other options include:

  • Sadio Mane as a striker.
  • Joao Cancelo as the right wingback.
  • Josip Stanisic as one of the defenders in the back three.


Here’s Bild’s predicted lineup, they think Mane will start at striker.

Interested in a more in-depth preview of the game? Then check out our Weekend Warm-up podcast! Chuck talks about the game vs Leverkusen, shares his thoughts on the UCL draw, and a whole lot more! Listen to it below or on Spotify.

As always, we appreciate all the support!

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