It’s crunch time now for Bayern Munich. Four points off the pace in the league, Hansi Flick and his men will need to beat Borussia Monchengladbach tomorrow if they want to have a chance of finishing the Hinrunde as Autumn Champions. Coming off the back off a loss to Bayer Leverkusen, the Bavarians will want to prove their mettle against the table toppers.
So what does Hansi have in store for us? Let’s take a look.
Aside from the three long-term injuries (Niklas Süle, Lucas Hernandez, and Fiete Arp), Bayern Munich come into the game with a full roster. That means Flick will have Robert Lewandowski available to start up front, and Thomas Müller at second striker to support him.
Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry were the preferred wing pairing against Borussia Dortmund a month ago, and that’s not likely to change on Saturday. Ivan Perisic is almost certain to be on the bench after his disappointing performance versus Bayer last week, but he is an option as a super-sub. Philippe Coutinho may be a potential starter on the wing instead of Coman, but it’s likely that the coach will prefer the Frenchman’s pace over the Brazilian’s trickery.
In midfield, Flick will likely stick with his preferred pairing of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. Goretzka came under some criticism for his overzealous attacking play against Leverkusen, which left the back line vulnerable. However, in his press conference, Flick reaffirmed his appreciation for Goretzka’s qualities as a player, which hints at a potential start against the Foals.
If Flick opts for the same all-German duo, it will be a huge blow to Thiago Alcantara, who has found himself sidelined since the departure of Niko Kovac. The Spaniard was usually the first name on the team sheet under the previous coach, and his omission from the biggest games might cause him to become discontent with his role in the team.
If, however, he doesn’t play and Bayern’s midfield suffers for it, then perhaps the upcoming game against Tottenham Hotspur will be a chance for him to redeem himself in the eyes of the coach. Thiago’s situation under Flick should be observed carefully.
In defense, expect little change. Perhaps Javi Martinez might be substituted out for Jerome Boateng, but otherwise Alphonso Davies, David Alaba, and Benjamin Pavard should all reprise the roles they have played since Flick took over. With Manuel Neuer in goal, it will be a strong back line, but whether the team can ward off Gladbach’s attack remains to be seen.
Therefore, here’s how we think Bayern Munich will line up against Borussia Monchengladbach: