This could be a really funny week in the Bundesliga, as both title challengers gear up to face each other’s arch nemesis. Bayern Munich take on the blue half of the Revierderby at the Allianz Arena in the afternoon kickoff slot, followed by Borussia Dortmund vs the other Borussia at the Westfalenstadion in the evening. With only two more matchdays left after this, these games could really decide the title race.
Bayern Munich have a few players out, but many more returning from injury. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting remains sidelined with a knee issue, while Josip Stanisic works a comeback from a muscle injury. Manuel Neuer and Lucas Hernandez have resumed on-field training, but their comebacks are still weeks (maybe even months) away, while Alphonso Davies will be out for the rest of the season. Leon Goretzka and Dayot Upamecano are back however, handing a much-needed boost to Tuchel’s squad.
Who will actually start? That’s a good question. After the media speculation over Thomas Muller’s future this week, Tuchel revealed in his press conference that the Bayern #25 was suffering from longstanding back pain, which is why he had been kept out of the starting XI. Fair enough, but where was this explanation last week? You get the feeling that he’s responding to the media firestorm, rather than providing a legitimate update on the player’s fitness.
In any case, let’s not expect a Muller start. It’s best not to get your hopes up. Serge Gnabry is on a hot streak right now, so he will likely start up top, flanked by a potential duo of Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane. This means Sadio Mane would drop to the bench, which won’t raise any eyebrows. Jamal Musiala will likely start in attacking midfield, making up a standard four-man attack.
In midfield, Leon Goretzka is set to return to the starting XI, which means Ryan Gravenberch gets sent back to
purgatory the bench. Joshua Kimmich likely starts next to him, by virtue of being the only other midfielder in the squad.
The defense is an interesting conundrum, now that Upamecano is back. However, expect Tuchel to play it safe and keep last week’s lineup, with Joao Cancelo and Noussair Mazraoui as fullbacks, and Matthijs de Ligt and Benjamin Pavard in the middle. Yann Sommer, as usual, is set to start in goal.
Here is what the lineup could look like:
Looks like Schalke could do Bayern a favor (or maybe they want to spite BVB). Either that or this is false info to lure Bayern into a trap.
Schalke have key players on 4 yellow cards (Bülter, Terodde, Yoshida, Zalazar). Coach Thomas Reis could rest them against Bayern tomorrow for next week's 'more important' home game against Frankfurt because the chances of winning in Munich are slim anyway [@BILD, Bayern-Insider]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) May 12, 2023
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