Table-topping Bayern Munich welcome Mainz 05 to the Allianz Arena for a meeting between two of the Bundesliga’s top seven on Saturday afternoon.
Buoyed by consecutive victories over Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona, Bayern are in a rich vein form. However, given the lack of elite depth at Julian Nagelsmann’s disposal, Mainz may be faced with a largely unaltered XI playing its third game in seven days.
Nevertheless, here’s that familiar lineup Nagelsmann may once again turn to come the weekend.
Manuel Neuer (GK) – Only Hertha Berlin’s beleaguered Alexander Schwolow has a larger negative discrepancy between actual and expected – given the accuracy of the efforts that fly his way – goals conceded than Bayern‘s underperforming number one this season (per Opta).
Benjamin Pavard (RB) – Bayern Munich’s World Cup winner lifted football’s ultimate prize having never lost a game for his national team, going unbeaten in 31 appearances for France from their Under-19 to senior side.
Dayot Upamecano (CB) – There has been scant opportunity to question Upamecano’s defensive qualities since following Nagelsmann to Bavaria, but the centre back can also boast four Bundesliga assists – a tally only Thomas Muller can better in Bayern’s squad.
Lucas Hernandez (CB) – If he can shake off an ankle injury that wasn’t as serious as first feared, Hernandez could make his 12th consecutive Bundesliga start on Saturday – his longest previous run was five.
Alphonso Davies (LB) – The Bundesliga‘s most prolific and progressive ball carrier not only boasts the most driving runs into the final third and penalty area, but also the most nutmegs in Germany’s top flight (eight, per FBref).
Corentin Tolisso (CM) – With the game long since decided, Nagelsmann tellingly removed the one fully fit, senior midfielder at his disposal an hour into Barcelona’s Champions League submission.
Jamal Musiala (CM) – While the midfield pairing of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka have been tipped to spearhead the next generation of Bayern dominance, Musiala may well provide further evidence of his own future importance if he fills in for the doubtful duo on Saturday.
Thomas Muller (AM) – Bayern’s undroppable and ever-improving 32-year-old has directly contributed to six goals in his last five encounters with Mainz.
Kingsley Coman (RW) – After racking up a career-high ten Bundesliga assists last season (as many as he registered across the previous three campaigns), Coman has blatantly shifted his focus to scoring; taking almost twice as many shots and creating less than half as many chances.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – The official Striker of the Year has outscored a third of the Bundesliga’s clubs so far this season.
Leroy Sane (LW) – Into double digits for goals and assists across all competitions already this season (with a symmetrically satisfying tally of ten in each category), Sane has eclipsed his output from a disappointing debut season in almost 1,000 fewer minutes.