Having started 2024 with a solid but unspectacular victory over Hoffenheim, Bayern Munich return to action following a mini-break of around nine days, during which the team managed to squeeze in a training camp in Portugal.
Will the extra time off help Thomas Tuchel and his team find their rhythm? Or will Werder Bremen do what Eintracht Frankfurt did earlier in the season, and shock Bayern on the back of a long break? We’ll have to wait and see.
Mostly good news! Matthijs de Ligt is back in team training despite an injury sustained earlier in the week. He was initially projected to miss the game, but Thomas Tuchel confirmed that the Dutchman is fit and will definitely start. Joshua Kimmich and Eric Dier have both rejoined the squad after the births of their respective children, while there have been no new injuries to account for. Of course, Noussair Mazraoui and Kim Min-jae’s absences leave a hole in the squad that’s hard for the coach to fill.
In terms of the lineup, expect to see a fundamentally unchanged XI from last week’s game — which means Harry Kane up top, supported by a trio of Leroy Sané, Thomas Müller, and Jamal Musiala. Musiala played more centrally last week while Müller effectively roamed as a winger, so it’ll be interesting to see if that tactical innovation continues.
One change we could see is Leon Goretzka coming in for Raphaël Guerreiro. Goretzka got an assist after being subbed on vs Hoffenheim in what was an otherwise insipid offensive performance from the Bavarians — perhaps that will give him the nod ahead of the Portuguese fullback. Joshua Kimmich, meanwhile, should be expected to reprise his role, though whether he will play as a true No. 6 or as more of a No. 8 remains to be seen.
The defense will likely be unchanged, with Alphonso Davies and Konrad Laimer manning the flanks, and Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano in the middle. With Manuel Neuer, here’s what a starting XI could look like:
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