Bayern Munich will be looking to seal their eighth successive Bundesliga title on Tuesday when they face off against Werder Bremen.
Bayern Munich are once again on the verge of sealing the Bundesliga title, following an excellent turnaround under Hansi Flick. Heading into this midweek’s clash against Werder Bremen, the Bavarians are at the top of the league table with a seven-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund.
Bayern could have sealed the title last season, had it not been for Erling Haaland’s last-minute winner against Fortuna Dusseldorf that saw Borussia Dortmund all three points in a tight encounter. Nevertheless, with just three games remaining, a win for the visitors should be enough to guarantee the league title.
Werder Bremen, on the other hand, are facing a completely different situation. The Northern giants are in the midst of a relegation scrap, having conjured up just 28 points on the board. Although they are coming on the back of a morale-boosting 5-1 win over SC Paderborn on the weekend, a victory against Bayern could be imperative if they are to finish at least ahead of Fortuna.
Die Grunweissen are currently standing 17th on the league table, level on points with 16th placed Fortuna Dusseldorf, who have a better goal difference. With both Fortuna and Mainz(15th) facing strong challenges against RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund respectively, Werder would look to salvage at least a point against the record champions this midweek.
Here, at the Hard Tackle, we will take a look at both the sides ahead of this highly important clash in the Bundesliga on Tuesday.
Tactics & Team News
Werder head coach Florian Kohfeldt will be forced to make a few alterations to the side that won against Paderborn. The rather attacking 3-4-1-2 could shift into a 4-3-3 setup, mirroring Bayern Munich’s own formation.
Reverting to a four-man backline essentially means that Kevin Vogt will be deployed in the holding midfield role, where he is likely to be partnered by Maximilian Eggestein and Davy Klaassen. The latter scored twice in the win over Paderborn and could play a key role in creating turnovers in this fixture.
In defence, Vogt shifting into central midfield will pave the way for Niklas Moisander to lead the backline alongside Milos Veljkovic. These two individuals are likely to defend in deep blocks with additional support from the fullbacks in Theodor Gebre-Selassie and Ludwig Augustinsson.
Kohfeldt won’t have to deal with any notable absentees in the attacking department, aside from veteran forward Claudio Pizarro. But, we do expect the Werder coach to opt for Josh Sargent ahead of Yuya Osako in the number nine slot. Osako, however, could later be utilised as a super-sub.
Sargent, meanwhile, will be partnered by the hard-working duo of Leonardo Bittencourt and Milot Rashica, hoping to cause havoc in the Bayern Munich defence.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Pavlenka; Gebre-Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson; Eggestein, Vogt, Klaassen; Bittencourt, Sargent, Rashica.
Flick was forced to start without Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller due to suspension last weekend. But, both the attackers are tipped to return to the starting lineup this time around, at the expense of Joshua Zirkzee and Michael Cuisance.
However, the likes of Sarpreet Singh, Kwasi-Okyere Wriedt and Zirkzee are definitely options in the final third for Bayern Munich as we head towards the final phase of the campaign.
In midfield, Thiago Alcantara is ruled out with an injury along with Corentin Tolisso. Although Cuisance can still be deployed in central midfield, Flick is likely to persist with the duo of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich, at the base of Bayern’s 4-2-3-1 setup.
Moving back in defence, Jerome Boateng could be rested following a strenuous game against Gladbach on the weekend. Lucas Hernandez is tipped to replace the German, with Niklas Sule still out injured.
The Frenchman is set to be partnered by David Alaba at centre-back, with Alphonso Davies starting at left-back and Alvaro Odriozola potentially replacing Benjamin Pavard on the opposite flank. Manuel Neuer, meanwhile, is a guaranteed starter in goal.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Odriozola, Hernandez, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Muller, Coman, Lewandowski.
- Bremen are the league’s third-lowest scorers (35) and have the second leakiest defence (64).
- Their lack of goals has not been for the want of trying. Sargent – owner of three goals and two assists – has averaged a shot on goal every 59 minutes.
- Fellow Bremen striker Claudio Pizarro scored 87 times in 224 league games with Bayern across two spells at the club, winning six Bundesliga titles as well as the 2013 UEFA Champions League.
- Bayern have scored a Bundesliga record 92 goals after 31 rounds of fixtures.
- Returning pair Lewandowski and Müller are the league’s top scorer and provider respectively. Lewandowski has plundered 30 goals, while Müller has laid on 20.
Player to Watch
It took Joshua Zirkzee 50 minutes to score 4 Bundesliga goals.
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) June 13, 2020
Although not expected to start, this could be an important game for Zirkzee. The youngster notably scored the opener on the weekend as Bayern Munich salvaged a late win against Borussia Monchengladbach. And now, despite the return of Lewandowski, the Dutchman may have a point to prove.
Even for Bayern, Zirkzee’s development could be crucial, especially with Lewandowski, at the age of 31, nearing the final phase of his career. Coach Flick, who has overseen the rapid rise of young players like Pavard and Davies will surely be aware of this issue and could hand Zirkzee yet another opportunity to perform this midweek.
Zirkzee has already impressed the onlookers with his pace and ability to find the back of the net. The 19-year-old has netted an impressive four goals in just eight appearances in the Bundesliga so far and a strong performance against Werder could certainly help him gain a more prominent role in the Bayern Munich first-team next season.
Werder Bremen 0-3 Bayern Munich
Werder Bremen have a woeful record against Bayern Munich in the recent memory. And that is unlikely to change course this midweek given the team’s lack of defensive solidity as well as the lack of penetration in the final third. And coming up against Bayern Munich, who are by far the most in-form team in Europe right now, we expect the Grunweissen to succumb to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat.