League leaders Bayern Munich travel to second-placed Borussia Dortmund for a top of the table clash on Saturday evening.
Julian Nagelsmann has claimed 17 wins from his first 21 matches at the Bayern helm but has suffered more problems against Borussia Dortmund than any other club; losing a career-high seven games when facing the Black and Yellows.
Here’s the lineup Nagelsmann may deploy to begin rectifying that underwhelming record.
Manuel Neuer (GK) – The only member of Bayern‘s squad older than his manager is unlikely to be displaced despite some underwhelming displays between the posts recently.
Benjamin Pavard (RB) – Lacking the penetrative edge of his opposite full-back (and not exactly blessed with a defensive resolve that compensates) the World Cup winner (lest we forget) has certainly benefited from the lack of successful recruitment at right back.
Dayot Upamecano (CB) – Nagelsmann’s defensive linchpin at RB Leipzig has hardly looked out of place since following his manager to Bavaria.
Lucas Hernandez (CB) – Having been selected throughout an unusual court case that centred around Hernandez holidaying with his wife despite the pair lodging restraining orders against one another, the France international is unlikely to be overlooked now his name has been cleared.
Alphonso Davies (LB) – ‘FC Bayern’s Roadrunner’ is disappointingly only the third-fastest player in the Bundesliga so far this season. Yes, there’s actually fastest humans – we didn’t think that was possible.
Corentin Tolisso (CM) – Not many players in world football could adequately step in for the isolating Joshua Kimmich, yet this is the task Tolisso has been lumbered with.
Leon Goretzka (CM) – One of the most contentious members of Bayern’s squad faces a race for fitness so at least half the midfield pairing tipped to lead Bayern ‘into the future with them’ can feature.
Thomas Muller (AM) – Just 13 games into the season, Muller has already hit double digits for league assists – the ninth time Bayern’s Raumdeuter has racked up such a tally since 2010.
Kingsley Coman (RW) – While Serge Gnabry continues to shake off the rust of a quarantine period that ended on the eve of last weekend’s win against Arminia Bielefeld, the scorer of Bayern’s Champions League final winner in 2020 will have to suffice.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – Most strikers would be utterly ecstatic with a tally of 25 goals across an entire campaign, yet, for the official Striker of the Year this is a milestone reached before December.
Leroy Sane (LW) – Sometimes Nagelsmann’s intricate, in-game tactical tweaks can seem like a high-spec blend of unknowable complexities – yet, the process of unlocking Sane’s Manchester City form (or better) may have been as simple as putting him back on the left wing.
You can read 90min’s preview of Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich here.
You can read Borussia Dortmund’s predicted lineup here.