Bayern Munich have a seven point deficit on Bayer Leverkusen right now, but that figure is misleading because of a game in hand. Early in December last year, the club had its game against Union Berlin rescheduled due to a massive snowstorm in Munich.
Winning this game would put Bayern back within four points of the league leaders, which isn’t ideal but still well within striking distance. The question is, after the listless performance we saw against Werder Bremen, can the team rally and claim the win? Much will depend on the coach and his lineup.
Thomas Tuchel says that everyone who played in the Bremen game will be available for this one. Serge Gnabry continues his recovery from a muscle injury, while Noussair Mazraoui and Kim Min-jae are still out on international duty. This leaves the coach with plenty of options — but also plenty of questions.
If you’re curious about what went wrong vs Werder Bremen — we did a breakdown on our main flagship podcast episode. Give it a listen (especially if you’re looking for the #TuchelOut argument). Available below or on Spotify:
Assuming that there will be changes from the lineup we saw vs Bremen, these are the most likely moves available to the coach:
- Thomas Müller in for Kingsley Coman. This is a change that would benefit everyone, but only to some extent. Recently, Müller has been deployed as a winger on the right hand side, ostensibly to keep him from interfering with Harry Kane and Jamal Musiala’s positions on the pitch. That limits his influence — sure, he can get assists from crosses (as shown against Wolfsburg) but it’s hardly the best use of a Raumdeuter. Hopefully, Tuchel will move him back to the center.
- Leon Goretzka for Raphaël Guerreiro. Tuchel defended his decision to bench Goretzka by revealing that the player was ill before the Bremen game, though he had failed to mention this beforehand. It seems like a convenient excuse, but we’ll let it slide. Goretzka could offer Bayern some physicality in midfield that Guerreiro lacks, and is a threat in and around the box. His addition would be appreciated.
- Raphaël Guerreiro to left-back in place of Alphonso Davies. Davies has not been playing well as of late, so maybe Tuchel could opt for a change?
Other options include starting Aleksandar Pavlović in midfield and potentially moving Joshua Kimmich to right-back, though it seems that those are not currently being considered. Eric Dier is another player who could make his debut vs Union, but probably not in the starting lineup — barring an immense shakeup of the status quo.
This is probably what a good XI could look like. Note, there’s no guarantee that Tuchel will choose this specific team.
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