Bayern Munich are off to a flying start this season, but one man is plotting to bring it all down. After a short stint in Monaco, the Bundesliga’s resident Bond villain is back in Germany, driving a lime-green VW and leading a pack of hungry wolves. Niko Kovac is a man who knows how to bring calculated misery to Bayern fans, and all his skills will be on display when the two teams meet tomorrow.
So, with that being said, how will the lineup look?
No changes from last week. Kingsley Coman is still serving a red card suspension while Leon Goretzka is in the middle of recovery from his knee surgery. In any case, Julian Nagelsmann said that there would be no changes to the starting XI that took to the field against Eintracht, and there’s no reason for us to think he was lying.
So here’s what the lineup should look like:
Now I know what you’re thinking — why no rotation? Surely Matthijs de Ligt or Noussair Mazraoui should get a chance in this system, right? Well it’s clear that Nagelsmann first wants to get his team comfortable in the setup, and then start changing things up. Last season, the coach was guilty of making too many changes every week, which didn’t allow the team to settle. This year’s approach will be very different, as we can see already.
In the 4-2-2-2, the midfield square consisting of Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala, Marcel Sabitzer, and Joshua Kimmich will be key to resisting Wolfsburg and unlocking their defense. With no established center forward in this squad, everything falls upon the creative heart of the team to control and dominate the game. Niko Kovac, for his part, will try to disrupt that midfield as much as possible.
Disruption is what this Nagelsmann side needs to face. Both RB Leipzig and Frankfurt tried to play their games too cleanly. They tried to be intense but it left them open at the back and they were torn apart by a versatile front-three. Kovac is unlikely to make the same mistake, if only because he simply isn’t the sort of coach to come out gegenpressing and guns blazing.
It’ll be an interesting tactical battle between the coaches. Let’s see who comes out on top.
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