Bayern Munich are aiming to recover from Saturday’s shock 4-2 defeat to newly-promoted VfL Bochum as they take on RB Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Wednesday. The pressure will be on Julian Nagelsmann, who has been heavily criticised for his tactical decisions against Bochum, and an early exit from the Champions League could even lead to his demise at the end of the season.
Predicted Bayern Munich Lineup Vs RB Salzburg
Manuel Neuer remains out with knee surgery and won’t be back in action anytime soon. Bayern, therefore, have no option but to persist with Sven Ulreich in goal. The former HSV goalkeeper has conceded six goals in his last two matches for Bayern.
As for the backline, Nagelsmann may shift to a four-man defence, with Lucas Hernandez deputising for the injured Alphonso Davies. Benjamin Pavard should retain his place in the right-back slot as well, despite a disastrous display against Bochum on the weekend.
In central defence, the onus will be on Dayot Upamecano to redeem himself after producing an awful performance that led to his substitution at half-time. He partners Niklas Sule is also under pressure, especially after reaching a pre-contract agreement with rivals Borussia Dortmund.
MUNICH, GERMANY – DECEMBER 11: Niklas Süle of FC Bayern München plays the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Allianz Arena on December 11, 2021 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
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Nagelsmann may have learnt his lesson from the last game and will revert to a 4-2-3-1 formation which should incorporate a supporting midfielder for Joshua Kimmich.
The German international was completely isolated in the last game, but this time around, he may have the support of Corentin Tolisso. His usual partner in Leon Goretzka is out injured, though Nagelsmann does have other alternatives in the form of Marcel Sabitzer and Marc Roca.
The 4-2-3-1 formation means one of the four creative players may have to make way. Serge Gnabry is the likely candidate, as Nagelsmann looks to return to a three-man creative setup that will hope to offer adequate supply for Robert Lewandowski inside the box.
Thomas Muller is a guaranteed starter, having been substituted early on in the Bochum game. Leroy Sane, too, may retain his place in the side, along with Coman. The two are expected to operate out wide, with Muller starting in his usual Ramdeuter role, just behind the main striker in Lewandowski.