Update — Tuesday, November 1st, 10:05AM EDT: Bayern doesn’t take full roster to FC Saarbrücken
As Bayern Munich traveled to FC Saarbrücken for today’s DFB-Pokal match, the club left home several players including Leon Goretzka, Sven Ulreich, and Noussair Mazraoui:
The team traveled to Saarbrücken this morning without Leon Goretzka, Noussair Mazraoui and Sven Ulreich. Konrad Laimer is expected to start at right-back and Pavlović/Krätzig in midfield. Daniel Peretz will be the second goalkeeper behind Neuer [ @BILD] pic.twitter.com/depMZX8B0k
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) November 1, 2023
After the incredible euphoria of an 8-0 win last weekend, Bayern Munich return to action in the dreaded 2nd round of the DFB-Pokal, a fixture that has become a bit of a stumbling block for the German record champions in recent years. Since 2020, Bayern have failed to progress from this stage twice in three attempts — an abject run that reflects the unpredictable nature of the cup.
Thomas Tuchel knows he can’t take it easy, but he also knows he must rotate some of his starting XI in order to rest key players. After all, with the Klassiker game against Borussia Dortmund up next in the schedule, he can’t afford any more injuries.
Not much in the way of news. Serge Gnabry is back and Leon Goretzka may be fit enough to be included in the squad, but it’s still too early for Dayot Upamecano and Raphaël Guerreiro. Joshua Kimmich, who picked up a red card in Bayern’s 8-0 win over Darmstadt, is still eligible to play due to suspensions not carrying over into the Pokal.
So, what kind of starting XI can people expect? Well Harry Kane and Leroy Sané may get some rest for a change, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Mathys Tel possibly taking their place. Thomas Müller is another candidate for the starting XI, in place of Jamal Musiala at attacking midfield. Serge Gnabry, who broke his arm in the last Pokal game Bayern played, could make his return for this one, provided that he’s fully fit.
In midfield, Joshua Kimmich may start once again, given that he’s about to get some involuntary rest in the coming weeks. He may be paired with Konrad Laimer in midfield, assuming that Goretzka is not yet fit to start.
That would leave the defense to select itself — the same backline from the Darmstadt game. You’d have Alphonso Davies at left-back, Kim Min-Jae and Matthijs de Ligt at center-back, and Noussair Mazraoui at right-back. Now Tuchel could always throw everyone a curve ball and start Bouna Sarr, but that’s … unlikely.
With Manuel Neuer set to start in goal, Bayern Munich could end up with a lineup that looks like this:
Of course, the game might not even take place due to the weather in Saarbrücken, making the pitch waterlogged and practically unplayable. Apparently a decision on the matter will take place on the matchday itself:
A decision regarding Bayern’s DFB Pokal game against Saarbrücken has been postponed again and will now be made on the day of the game tomorrow [@dpa]
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 31, 2023
On the matter of the game getting canceled, Tuchel said the following:
“We’ll travel on match day. If the game gets cancelled, we may not even take off. There should be another pitch inspection today and tomorrow. We currently assume that we’ll play.”
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