Bayern Munich will look to move one step closer to retaining the Bundesliga title when they face 1. FC Nuremberg at the Max-Morlock Stadion.
Bayern Munich will look to capitalize on Borussia Dortmund’s tragic 4-2 defeat to Schalke by collecting all three points against FC Nuremberg on Sunday as they look to retain their Bundesliga title this season.
The table-toppers are currently leading second-placed Dortmund by just one point but the Black and Yellow’s 4-2 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Schalke on Saturday has given Bayern the opportunity to extend the gap to four points by the end of this week.
This could seriously affect the title race, with Bayern likely to be the clear favourites should they win against Nuremberg on Sunday.
However, the newly promoted Bundesliga outfit, despite being one of the worst teams in the league this season, sure packs a punch, having already held Dortmund to a goalless draw earlier this year.
In addition, they also drew with Schalke just a fortnight ago and Der Klub will be hoping for more of the same when they face the mighty Bayern at the Max-Morlock Stadion.
And here, at the Hard Tackle, we take a look at both the sides ahead of their important Bundesliga match-up this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
1. FC Nuremberg
Despite a 2-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in the last game, Nuremberg head coach Boris Schommers is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting eleven this weekend.
The back four will remain unchanged, with Lukas Muhl and Ewerton retaining their place at the heart of the backline while Robert Bauer and Tim Leibold will occupy the fullback roles. Georg Margreitter is also an option should Schommers opt for an extra defensive body later in the game.
Patrick Erras will be deployed in the holding midfield role and the 24-year-old will be tasked with the responsibility of disrupting Bayern’s flow in the middle of the pitch.
Erras will be supported by the duo of Eduard Lowen and Hanno Behrens, both of whom will operate in an advanced midfield position, though they’ll likely drop deep during the defensive phases in order to provide additional support to the backline.
The Nuremberg attack will be spearheaded by Mikael Ishak, who is the club’s top-scorer this season with just four goals. He will be supported by the wide-duo of Matheus Pereira and Sebastian Kerk, who is likely to get the nod ahead of Virgil Misidjan.
Probable Lineup (4-1-2-3): Mathenia; Bauer, Muhl, Ewerton, Leibold; Erras; Behrens, Lowen; Pereira, Ishak, Kerk.
We could expect Niko Kovac to make a few alterations to his, after a strenuous midweek fixture against Werder Bremen.
However, Joshua Kimmich is a guaranteed starter in the right-back position along with David Alaba, who will occupy the opposite flank. But, Niklas Sule is expected to return to the starting eleven after being rested in the win over Bremen.
Sule will be introduced at the expense of Jerome Boateng, meaning the former TSG defender will be partnered by Mats Hummels at the heart of Bayern’s four-man backline.
Javi Martinez is expected to be deployed in the holding midfield role while his compatriot Thiago Alcantara will feature in a slightly advanced midfield role, where he will act as the primary ball-carrier for the Bavarians.
Thomas Muller scored Bayern’s second goal in the 3-2 win over Bremen and we could expect the German international to get the nod ahead of James Rodriguez in the lone attacking midfield role.
Muller will be supported by the wide duo of Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman, just in behind the main striker Robert Lewandowski, who is the league’s top scorer with 21 goals in 29 matches.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Sule, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Alcantara; Gnabry, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski.
- Nuremberg have a poor record against Bayern, as they are yet to secure a single victory in the last 13 meetings – they’ve only been waiting as long for a top-flight win against Borussia Dortmund.
- Bayern have an excellent away record, having won 20 out of their last 25 matches away from the Allianz Arena.
- Bayern have kept a clean sheet in 6 of their last 7 matches against Nuremberg in all competitions.
- Nuremberg are one of the worst teams in the league going into this game, securing only one win in their last 24 matches in the Bundesliga.
- Bayern have scored at least 2 goals in their last 4 matches against Nuremberg in all competitions.
Player to Watch
Ulreich will continue to deputize for the injured Manuel Neuer between the sticks for Bayern Munich this weekend. The former Stuttgart keeper has impressed when he has been given the opportunity, but he will under a lot of pressure after conceding two goals against Bremen in midweek.
Additionally, the 30-year-old has also urged young goalkeeping sensation Alexander Nubel not to join Bayern (h/t Onefootball), which will surely irk the fans and owners alike. Therefore, Ulreich certainly needs to perform well if he is to avoid facing a lot of criticism by the end of this matchday, especially with Neuer nearing his return to full fitness.
1. FC Nuremberg 0-3 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich are the clear favourites going into this game, thanks to their incredible scoring form, which will surely be enough to oust a Nuremberg side, who have the worst attack in the league. Therefore, we expect the Bavarians to come away with a comfortable 3-0 win in this one.