With his first win as a Bayern Munich coach secured, Thomas Tuchel turns his attention to the ever-so-important knockout competitions. First up is the game against SC Freiburg in the DFB-Pokal, which is mercifully being played at the Allianz Arena.
Tuchel is no stranger to the DFB-Pokal, having won the title back in 2017. His experience therefore eclipses his predecessor in that regard, though it won’t be worth much if he can’t actually bring home the trophy. Der Klassiker showed us what this team is capable of, now it’s time to show if it can be consistent.
Noussair Mazraoui is out with illness while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting suffered a knock in training, though Thomas Tuchel says the latter will be able to start tomorrow. Jamal Musiala is also not back at full fitness, with the coach saying he’s only capable of playing a single half at the most. With that knowledge, the lineup practically chooses itself.
Yes, it’s going to be the 4-2-3-1. If you’re curious about a breakdown of its merits, check out our postgame review of Der Klassiker below or on Spotify. TL;DR, simplicity is the key.
Thomas Muller is the heart of this setup, playing behind Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in his usual attacking midfield position. Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane play on the left and right wings respectively, resembling the inverted winger duos Bayern had when Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were still at the club. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka man the midfield, while the defenders select themselves these days.
Alphonso Davies is the left-back of choice, while Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano are the preferred center-backs. While Benjamin Pavard hasn’t always been happy with being a right-back in previous seasons, he’ll likely reprise his role over the perennial sulker Joao Cancelo. Josip Stanisic is another option, though he’s more likely to see action in the weekend fixture vs. Freiburg where the stakes are slightly lower.
With Yann Sommer rounding out the XI, here’s what Bayern’s starting lineup vs Freiburg could look like. Been a while since we’ve seen a 4-2-3-1 become the lineup of choice.
Here is what TZ thinks the lineup will be: