If there is one player who is making the most of his playing time right now for Bayern Munich, it is Kingsley Coman.
The Frenchman has long been lauded as one of the most electric players in football and has been spectacular of late for the Bavarians.
Whether working as a wing or a wing-back, Coman has been incredibly impactful. Using his blazing speed, dazzling footwork, and explosive movements, Coman has reminded the Bayern Munich fanbase of that great promise he has always shown.
After suffering through seasons bogged down by injuries, Coman looks like he has made “the leap” into putting it all together. His talent has always been undeniable, but he is achieving a level of consistency that has made him an almost indispensable player for manager Julian Nagelsmann.
What is incredible about that statement is that Coman might be the best wing on a team that also features Sadio Mané, Leroy Sané, and Serge Gnabry. That says a lot because that is an absolute “Murderer’s Row” of wing players.
Aside of his improved consistency this season, what has made Coman so special this season is how disruptive he is to the opposition. When the ball is on his foot in the final third, you can almost feel the tension rise in the opposition’s defense.
Whether it is because he has matured and grown as a player or if this what Coman was always going to look like without all of the nagging injuries, the Frenchman has been more dangerous than ever (which says a lot since he scored a Champions League-winning goal) and Bayern Munich is better for it.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 34
Bayern Munich is at a key juncture of its season.
With big matches just about every week, plus a roster that is likely to be tweaked this summer, there is nary a day that goes by without some sort of news breaking.
This week, there was plenty to discuss and we had no shortage of topics. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:
- The news that Leroy Sané and Serge Gnabry could be on the way out at Bayern Munich.
- Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s new deal and what it means moving forward.
- Bayern Munich’s new clubhouse punishment system.
- Some thoughts on the PSG tilt and why this is such a key moment for Julian Nagelsmann.
- A recap of the latest episode of The Last of Us.
Song of the Week: “Brain of J.” by Peal Jam
I’m diving back into Pearl Jam this week (you’ll see why in the next section) and this time its “Brain of J.”, which appeared on the “Yield” album.
In a previous Weekend Warm-up, I highlighted “Do the Evolution”, which was my favorite track from this album, but for me, this was the last Pearl Jam CD that had that super-edgy grunge feel. That’s not a knock on the Seattle group, bands change over time and Pearl Jam evolved a bit after “Yield.”
I’ve said it before, but I was a major Pearl Jam head at that time. I saw them multiple times in concert (even though I am #NotReallyAConcertGuy) and had about a million bootlegged versions of CDs of various show (this was a HUGE thing in the late 90s and early 00s).
Anyway, let me stop reminiscing about when I thought I was cool. Enjoy “Brain of J”:
The Last of Us
We got some answers to a few burning questions, but not the full scope of everything that is going on. Let’s get to it;
- The latest episode opened with Ellie caring for Joel before an extensive flashback to how she ended up bitten. For what it’s worth Joel looks like he is in bad shape.
- We find out that Ellie was in a FEDRA youth boarding house/training program/juvenile detention center...who knows...it just didn’t look like it was a whole lot of fun to be there.
- For you 90s heads out there, we see that Ellie is listening to Pearl Jam’s “All Or None”, which was on the “Riot Act” album (released in 2002). The is was pretty much the first Pearl Jam that did not get really any major airplay — and subsequently was the beginning of the group’s fade to the background of the music scene (the period where everyone just starts to want “the hits” at concerts and “no new sh*t” — as people used to shout at Metallica in the late 90s and early 00s).
- Man...that last point took a turn, huh? Okay, back to The Last of Us.
- We also learn that Ellie can fight a little bit as she put a classmate in the infirmary with 15 stitches.
- Instead of being punished, though, Captain Kwong (the leader of this youth facility) convinced Ellie that the life of an officer in FEDRA is a whole hell of a lot better than the other route she was heading down.
- Ellie was on that pathway to becoming a FEDRA officer before her friend (and love interest), Riley, breaks into Ellie’s bedroom to convince her to take a little adventure. As it turns out the two would spend the night in a condemned mall, which is somehow still powered up — and rumored to be full of the infected.
- As the duo experiences a Victoria’s Secret, a carousel, and an arcade (among other things), we get teased by the a potential romance until it culminates with a predictable kiss.
- Of course, this being a show about a dystopian society, it ends horrifically with one of the infected biting both Ellie and Riley.
- We don’t know what this means for Riley (though we can guess), but we now have the origin story on how Ellie was bitten and probably how Marlene (the local Fireflies leader) discovers Ellie’s immunity.
- This is sort of off-topic, but the Fireflies seem to remind me of “The American Resistance” from The Man in The High Castle for some obvious reasons.
- At the end of the episode, Ellie starts to stitch Joel up, which was a little uneasy to watch (credit Pedro Pascal’s acting for projecting the look of that would probably feel in real life). As expected, it looks like Joel is going to make it.
- Overall, it was another very solid episode. The overarching story itself is not overly captivating just yet, but the individual episodes — taken on a one-by-one basis — have been very good chapters to this story.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — VfB Stuttgart vs. Bayern Munich
On the heels of its huge Bundesliga win over Union Berlin last weekend, Bayern Munich will square off with VfB Stuttgart on Saturday...just days before a massive meeting with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
It would be easy for Bayern Munich to look right past this match, but Julian Nagelsmann will have to do everything he can to prevent that from happening. This is what we have on tap for this episode:
- A look at where each team resides in the Bundesliga table and how they have done in recent games.
- A couple of VfB Stuttgart players to potentially keep an eye on.
- Trying to predict Julian Nagelsmann’s formation and starting XI when factoring in upcoming suspensions, rest days, continuity, etc. (It’s not easy!).
- A prediction on the match.
Bayern Munich is staring down the barrel at a classic “trap game.”
Having to play VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga just ahead of the a Champions League tilt vs. Paris Saint-Germain, might seem like an afterthought, but this group of Bavarians seems focused on the task at hand. Knotted at the top of the table with Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich can ill-afford a slip up.
While — at the time of this post being published — we do not know how Julian Nagelsmann will lineup for the match, it can be assumed that he will not just rollout a squad of youngsters. Bayern Munich realizes that it cannot let down against against VfB Stuttgart and give a scorching hot BVB team any more hope — and momentum — than it already has.
Prediction: VfB Stuttgart 1-3 Bayern Munich
Other Bundesliga Match Day 23 predictions include:
- Borussia Dortmund 2-2 RB Leipzig
- FC Augsburg 1-0 Werder Bremen
- Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 SC Freiburg
- VfL Bochum 1-2 Schalke 04
- Mainz 05 3-2 Hoffenheim
- Union Berlin 1-1 FC Köln
- Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Hertha Berlin
- Wolfsburg 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Champions League Prediction
I don’t think this one will be easy by any means. I think it will be tense, nervy, and have some Bayern Munich fans on the edge of their seats for the entirety of the match. However, Bayern Munich does not necessarily need to win to move on and that will be a major advantage as this match grinds on.
PSG will attempt to throw Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi at Bayern Munich’s backline over and over again until something breaks for them. It will be a tough task to contain the duo for yet another match, but Bayern Munich has a stout defense and a superb attack to help keep Paris Saint-Germain wary.
This game, though, will be won or lost in the central midfield. If Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka can dictate the pace and flow of the match, Bayern Munich will have just enough in the tank to survive and advance.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain (Bayern moves through on 2-1 aggregate)
- Overall Bundesliga record: 101-97
- Last week’s Bundesliga record: 6-3
- DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
- DFB-Pokal record: 3-0
- Champions League record: 5-2
- World Cup overall record: 38-25
- WWU overall record: 144-119
- Guest predictions: 7-5