After the euphoria of a victory over FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich returns to reality with a game against FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga. Augsburg isn’t a world-beater, but they’re the kind of banana peel that Bayern has been slipping on like it’s Mario Kart recently. Another draw (or loss) would raise serious concerns heading into the international break, but who’s to say those concerns aren’t already being raised?
Julian Nagelsmann confirmed that only three players are unavailable for the game — Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernandez, and Bouna Sarr (all due to various injuries). Coman will likely be back after the international break, while Hernandez and Sarr are set to be sidelined for a much longer time period.
Meanwhile, questions are being asked about new signing Sadio Mane and his recent form. Mane has not scored or assisted since the 7-0 win over VfL Bochum, and the lack of goal contributions is starting to be noticed by fans and the media alike. In his press conference, the coach reiterated his trust in the former Liverpool man, saying he will get his goals and assists soon. We can assume he will start up top tomorrow.
Joining him will likely be Serge Gnabry, in order to give Thomas Muller some rest perhaps? Gnabry could start in the place of any of the attackers, but Muller played the full 90 vs FC Barcelona while Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala were subbed off, so it makes more sense to give him a break. Expect a four-man attack consisting of Mane, Sane, Musiala, and Gnabry.
In midfield, Joshua Kimmich is confirmed to be starting, since Nagelsmann says he doesn’t see a need to rest him yet. Ryan Gravenberch was also mentioned as “deserving more minutes” but that might mean he’s not close to a starting XI position yet. Leon Goretzka could get the nod ahead of Marcel Sabitzer after his strong performance against Barcelona, with the Austrian likely dropping to the bench.
In defense, Dayot Upamecano is confirmed fit after suffering a knock in midweek, so he’ll be ready to slot in alongside Matthijs de Ligt at center-back. The duo will have to cover for the injured Lucas Hernandez, and for De Ligt especially it’ll be a huge chance to make up for his penalty mistake in the Stuttgart game.
Nagelsmann confirmed that Noussair Mazraoui will start against Augsburg following his outstanding performance against Barcelona, so he and Alphonso Davies will be tasked with assisting the offense in breaking down the inevitable low block that FCA will field. Bayern could benefit from having two offensive fullbacks on each side.
Bayern's predicted XI against Augsburg, according to @BILD:
Neuer – Mazraoui, Upamecano, de Ligt, Davies – Kimmich, Goretzka – Musiala, Müller, Sané, Mané
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) September 16, 2022