Bayern Munich still needs to play well enough to secure qualification to the Champions League next year

With hope of silverware still alive, Bayern Munich return to Bundesliga action with an odd mandate. The team still needs to play well enough to secure qualification to the Champions League next year, but also preserve the legs of key players for the matchup against Real Madrid next month.

Bayern Munich have a slew of injuries, mostly in attack. Leroy Sané has been excused from games and training for the next week or so, in order to minimize his discomfort with a view to the Madrid game. Serge Gnabry continues his comeback — he won’t be able to take part vs Union, while Kingsley Coman remains sidelined. Sacha Boey and Bouna Sarr also remain on the injury list, though both players might make a comeback before the season ends.

With that in mind, what kind of lineup can we expect? Well, Harry Kane will probably start up front — the Englishman is no stranger to playing three games a week. Thomas Müller, who sat out both games vs Arsenal, is likely to join him, with a point to prove given his exclusion in two of the biggest games of the season. Jamal Musiala and Mathys Tel are the main candidates to join Kane and Müller in attack, assuming Tuchel keeps pretending that Bryan Zaragoza doesn’t exist.

Aleksandar Pavlović likely slots back into the midfield alongside Leon Goretzka, allowing Konrad Laimer to drop to the bench. While Laimer was instrumental in the win over Arsenal, Pavlović’s controlled passing could be more valuable against a team like Union, and the youngster needs game time to get back up to speed before the UCL semis.

At the back, Alphonso Davies likely returns to the left-back spot, with Kim Min-jae and Dayot Upamecano slotting in to give Matthijs de Ligt and Eric Dier some rest. Joshua Kimmich, the MotM from midweek, likely remains at right-back — he’s not someone who wants or needs rest.

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