So we’re at matchday 10 of the Bundesliga season and Bayern Munich are still a few points off the top of the table. It’s not ideal, and having only a single win in the last six league games is even less than ideal. Julian Nagelsmann is feeling the pressure, and it’s not all unwarranted.
SC Freiburg, meanwhile, are in 2nd place coming into this matchday, and their recent form is actually significantly better than Bayern’s. Okay, maybe significantly is overselling it, but Christian Streich HAS built a team that’s been doing the job domestically and in Europe. How will Julian Nageslmann compete?
Lots of bad news. Manuel Neuer is ruled out of the game with shoulder issues, so Sven Ulreich will have to start in his place. Kingsley Coman is also out after the double-yellow he got against Borussia Dortmund last week. This is in addition to the existing injury to Lucas Hernandez, ruling out a defender who would otherwise start.
Thomas Muller, Alphonso Davies, and Matthijs de Ligt are all back though, which is good news, and Jamal Musiala returns from Covid. The youngster won’t start tomorrow as confirmed by the coach — he’s not fit enough to play more than a single half.
So what will the lineup look like? Well, let’s assume a front four that incorporates all remaining senior attackers — so Serge Gnabry up top, Sadio Mane on the left, Leroy Sane on the right, and Thomas Muller behind the striker.
In midfield, Leon Goretzka has effectively won back his starting position after solid performances in the last few games, so he’ll be expected to pair up with Joshua Kimmich. Marcel Sabitzer and Ryan Gravenberch will have to bide their time on the bench.
With Davies back, Josip Stanisic will likely go back to the bench, while Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano will pair up at center-back. Benjamin Pavard is likely to get the nod ahead of Noussair Mazaraoui at right-back, though Nagelsmann didn’t indicate a preference one way or the other. We have to assume that Pavard’s more defensive game might suit Freiburg, who plan to come and attack Bayern at the Allianz Arena.
Here is what the starting XI could look like:
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