With no points to spare in the Bundesliga title race, Bayern Munich need to keep up the winning run. Julian Nagelsmann has a problem though — after Saturday’s game against Stuttgart, the club will host Paris Saint-Germain at the Allianz Arena in midweek, arguably one of the biggest games of the season. With certain key players set to miss that game, the coach must experiment to figure out his best XI before a do-or-die Champions League fixture. So what, exactly, are his options?
The squad is in good health, more or less. Leroy Sane is a doubt for the game due to a capsular ligament tear in his ankle, but both Sadio Mane and Noussair Mazraoui have returned to team training and are available for selection. Benjamin Pavard is also fit, but he will likely be rotated out of the lineup due to his impending red card suspension vs PSG.
So what will the starting XI look like? Well, many predict a 4-2-3-1, similar to what we saw against Union Berlin. That would mean putting Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting up top with Thomas Muller behind him, and Jamal Musiala and Kingsley Coman on the wings. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka are the likely double pivot in this formation, having played there ever since the last PSG game back in mid-February. They don’t have any competition in the squad so there’s no reason to change them out.
In defense, Benjamin Pavard will likely be replaced by Josip Stanisic rather than Joao Cancelo. While the former Manchester City man may be more experienced at this level, Stanisic offers invaluable defensive cover at right-back which could be key to keeping the likes of Kylian Mbappe at bay. Therefore, the young Croatian is the preferred choice against Stuttgart.
The rest of the starting XI basically selects itself. Dayot Upamecano returns from his one-game red card suspension to pair up with Matthijs de Ligt at center-back, while Alphonso Davies and Yann Sommer round out the lineup at left-back and goalkeeper respectively. Here’s what the XI could look like:
Leroy Sane took part in the final training. He should be available for selection vs Stuttgart (and also vs PSG).
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