FC Bayern kick off a busy few weeks when they travel to Mainz on Saturday. With some key players still out of action, we can expect a bit of rotation from the visiting side.
The good news is, Mats Hummels and Javi Martínez are ready to return to the starting XI and will likely do so. On the flip side, Arturo Vidal is not well enough to make the squad against Mainz and will sit this one out. There are also questions regarding David Alaba but he will likely make it over the starting lineup. Additionally, Thiago is still out.
In stark opposition to Bayern Munich, Mainz have had a pretty tragic run of form – especially in terms of their defence. They are currently in 15th place in the league with just five wins in 20 games.
Bayern would do well with some attacking rotation against the weaker Mainz defence and allow Robert Lewandowski to take a breather. Having to make do without Vidal will be challenging but Martinez’s return will certainly help them.
With all that in mind, here is the possible starting lineup for Bayern against Mainz on Saturday:
The goal will likely be filled by Sven Ulreich again – although he has been a bit problematic in his last couple of games. I miss Manuel Neuer, always, but he has spoilt us. Ulreich is alright.
The rest of the defence is made up by David Alaba on the left, Jérôme Boateng and Nicklas Süle in the centre and Joshua Kimmich on the right. The defence will need to be alert, as even though Mainz are struggling, Bayern’s defence has been slow and porous of late. As long as the defence is sharp, fast and alert, they should be fine.
The midfield will have the interesting pairing of the clever Javi Martínez and Sebastian Rudy. The latter will need to pull up his socks, though, as he was quiet and ineffective against Hoffenheim. In Vidal’s absence, the team will depend on Rudy to show his prowess in moving the game forward to the attackers.
Further up, it would be good to see Robbéry on the wings again. Although the pair have not been as effective as they used to be, they should be able to create chances against a defensively-weak Mainz side.
The attack will be completed by James Rodríguez behind Thomas Müller who will play up front as a striker. Now that Müller is in his element again and has developed quite a good chemistry with James, the pairing should be used. James could score freely from up there as well as providing assists up to Müller along could Robben from the right.
This lineup should see some sweet Müller goals and hopefully a cleansheet for the visitors.