Bayern flew straight to Mönchengladbach from Belgium for their next Bundesliga game. The team arrived with a long injury list that will inevitably shape Jupp Heynckes’ lineup.
Arjen Robben and Thiago Alcântara were forced out of the Anderlecht game with injuries. Official sources stated that Robben’s hamstring problem is mild which is a relief. He should be back after the Hannover game. Thiago, however, suffered a much more complicated injury. It will sideline him for a period of around twelve weeks.
Thiago and Robben enter an injury list which still has Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Rafinha, David Alaba and Franck Ribéry. These seven players are rather important. How will Heynckes tackle the issue?
We know this. Joshua Kimmich and Juan Bernat will likely start. In the centre of the park, I’m nodding towards Niklas Süle and Mats Hummels. The only real choice Jupp has is in the central defence. I think he will go with Hummels and Süle. Jérôme Boateng showed signs of complacency and imprecision against Anderlecht.
The real problem is in midfield. Bayern are treading water in almost every midfield position.
The manager gave the nod to Javi Martínez, James Rodríguez and Corentin Tolisso in the press conference. They will start. I find this interesting. Without Müller, Thiago and Robben, I think James and Tolisso will cover the right wing and the 10 position, respectively.
We know that James is much better behind the striker. However, without Robben, he is needed in the right. He has played there before and can do a good job there. Meanwhile, Tolisso’s attacking prowess was evident against Anderlecht. It will be interesting to see him in a more advanced position.
Keep the trend going
Indeed, Bayern did not cover themselves with glory in Belgium. The sheer amount of injuries makes it difficult to think the team will put up fireworks against Mönchengladbach.
Sometimes, the result is more important than the actual passage of play. This might be one of those games. Until the injury list is shortened, Bayern need to focus on results.