After losing the first leg 3-0, no sensible person thinks that Bayern Munich have a chance of progressing in the Champions League this year. Manchester City just look way too good, and Bayern have problems on and off the pitch.
That doesn’t mean it’s worth giving up just yet. Thomas Muller thinks we still have a chance of going through, and the coach might still have a plan. It’s a one-in-a-million shot, but that’s better than no shot at all. Let’s see if there’s any way to pull this off.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is BACK in team training. Even if he’s not 100% fit, you have to assume that Tuchel will risk it and put him back in the starting XI. Meanwhile no other new injuries are reported — everyone except Lucas Hernandez and Manuel Neuer participated in the final team training.
So how might the team line up? Well, if Choupo returns to the lineup, then so should Thomas Muller. His presence was sorely missed in the first leg and he’ll be raring to go for this one. Joining him on the wings will probably be Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman. All of them will need to show a little bit of extra quality in front of goal — when you’re 3-0 down, you can’t be missing chances.
In midfield, there’s a surprising change expected. Thomas Tuchel is apparently fed up with Leon Goretzka, and plans to put Joao Cancelo next to Joshua Kimmich in the pivot. This would be a radical departure from the first leg, but it might just give Bayern the spark it needs to combat City in the center of the pitch. At the Etihad, Rodri, Gundogan, Grealish, and De Bruyne were simply allowed to run riot.
The defense probably isn’t going to be too complicated. A standard back four with Alphonso Davies on the left, Benjamin Pavard on the right, and Matthijs de Ligt plus Dayot Upamecano in the center. Some fans may be apprehensive about Upa starting again after his game-changing mistake vs City in the first leg, but he’s an overall solid defender and really the best we’ve got at this stage. If all else fails, Yann Sommer will be in goal.
Here’s what the lineup could look like:
Thomas Tuchel says Joao Cancelo will NOT play in midfield tomorrow. So, fullback then? Does that mean Upamecano will be benched? Or something else?
Cancelo an option in midfield?— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) April 18, 2023
Tuchel: "He played with the ball in midfield and off the ball in the back four. Tomorrow we don't have time to change the formation. We have to find the best position for each player and for João it's about playing as full-back" pic.twitter.com/066lzZMcpH
Interested in a more in-depth preview of the game? Well why not check out our latest podcast episode? We talk about the City game (not much hope there unfortunately) as well as the fight between Sadio Mane and Leroy Sane, and whether anything has actually improved under Tuchel. Listen to it below or on Spotify.
As always, we appreciate all the support!