Official: Bayern Munich starting lineup to face Barcelona
Bayern Munich are poised to welcome FC Barcelona at the Allianz Arena, hoping to extend their winning run against the Catalans to five matches.
The Bavarians, though, are coming on the back of three successive draws in the Bundesliga, with their most recent draw coming against VfB Stuttgart. With that in mind, coach Julian Nagelsmann has made around five changes to the starting eleven.
Manuel Neuer starts in goal, as ever. The German international has often been the x-factor for Bayern in crunch affairs and this could be another evening where he could be called into action more than once.
Moving into the Bayern Munich backline, Lucas Hernandez starts alongside Dayot Upamecano. Boasting immense technical prowess and athleticism, these two will have the daunting task of putting a stop to the mercurial Robert Lewandowski.
However, Bayern cannot put all their focus into stopping Lewandowski as Barcelona possess an equal amount of threat out wide. That is where the two fullbacks Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davies come into the fray, though it will not come as a surprise to see the latter operate in a more attacking role.
Joshua Kimmich remains the undisputed starter in the middle of the park. The German international has been arguably the most important player for Bayern this season, thanks to his leadership and ability to control the game.
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Kimmich’s presence could once again be critical in dictating Bayern’s fortunes in this fixture. But it will be equally important for his midfield partner Marcel Sabitzer to offer the control in the second line of press.
Moving forward, Bayern are relying on the services of Sadio Mane as their central striker. The former Liverpool man has not had the best of starts to his life in Bavaria, but he is hoping to return to his old self by producing a strong display against Barcelona.
Mane will be accompanied by Jamal Musiala, Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane in the pecking order, with the trio looking to provide adequate services from the creative side of things.
Bayern Munich have serious firepower on the bench as well, despite the absence of the injured Kingsley Coman. Serge Gnabry is the prime alternative in the attack, whereas Leon Goretzka and Ryan Gravenberch are on standby, should Nagelsmann require more substance in the middle of the park.