Bayern Munich will be aiming to end their campaign on a winning note when they host FC Augsburg on the final matchday of the 2020/21 Bundesliga.
The end of 2020/21 campaign is almost upon us, with league competitions across Europe wrapping up this weekend. In Bundesliga, the final round of fixtures will be played out on Saturday afternoon and champions Bayern Munich will be in action at the Allianz Arena where they will play hosts to FC Augsburg.
It has been another memorable campaign for Bayern Munich, despite their early exits from DFB-Pokal and the UEFA Champions League, as they clinched their ninth-consecutive Bundesliga title earlier this month. With Hansi Flick set to leave the club at the end of the season, Die Roten will be hoping to give their manager a proper send-off with a thumping win this weekend, after having drawn 2-2 vs SC Freiburg last time out.
As for Augsburg, they have managed to secure their Bundesliga for yet another season, as they are 12th in the table heading into the final round of fixtures, with 36 points from 33 games – five clear of the relegation playoff spot. Manager Markus Weinzierl, who was only appointed towards the end of last month, picked up his first win last weekend against Werder Bremen and will be hoping to round off the campaign with another victory.
The reverse fixture, played in January earlier this year saw Bayern Munich edge out FC Augsburg 1-0 courtesy of a first-half penalty from Robert Lewandowski. Ahead of their latest and final meeting of the 2020/21 campaign on Saturday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Team News & Tactics
🗣️ #Flick on @David_Alaba, @JeromeBoateng and @Javi8martinez: "Any of those three, if fit, will play. They will all have great memories of their time at #FCBayern. It really is a great football club." #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/pUo9wTRd3d
— 🏆CHAMPIONS🏆 (@FCBayernEN) May 21, 2021
Bayern Munich have three absentees for their final game on Saturday with Leon Goretzka and Douglas Costa sidelined with injuries while youngster Tanguy Nianzou suspended. The match will also be a farewell for three of Die Roten’s senior players in Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez and David Alaba, all of whom will leave the club at the end of the season and will be involved at some point against FC Augsburg.
Manuel Neuer is expected to reclaim his place in goal for the final game of the season after having made way for Alexander Nubel last time out. Boateng ought to start at centre-back and may well be partnered with Lucas Hernandez, while Niklas Sule, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, gets the nod ahead of Benjamin Pavard on the right. Alphonso Davies is nailed on for a start at left-back.
Joshua Kimmich is a certainty to feature as one half of the midfield double pivot. The German international will constantly look to play incisive passes forward to slice open the Augsburg defence. Alaba should partner him in the middle of the park and provide defensive support while also posing a threat from his shooting ability from range.
The threat from the wide areas ought to come from Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman, with their pace and directness likely to cause problems to the visitors’ backline. Thomas Muller is a certainty in the No. 10 role from where he will look to create chances and help the lone striker, Robert Lewandowski make history on Saturday.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Sule, Boateng, Hernandez, Davies; Kimmich, Alaba; Gnabry, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski
Speaking ahead of the game, Augsburg manager Markus Weinzierl confirmed that his team will be missing just two players in Felix Uduokhai and Iago with injuries. In addition to that, Ruben Vargas is out with a suspension after getting sent off in the last game against Werder Bremen.
(On squad availabilities)
“There are some minor ailments. Aside from Uduokhai and Iago, everyone is available.” pic.twitter.com/buUveUF12P
— FC Augsburg (@FCA_World) May 21, 2021
Weinzierl is unlikely to make many tweaks to the personnel and formation for Saturday’s game, having picked up his first win last time out. So, the visitors could potentially mirror Bayern’s 4-2-3-1 in front of goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz, which could change to a 4-1-4-1 when they are looking to attack.
Reece Oxford and Jeffrey Gouweleeuw ought to form the central defensive pairing for Augsburg, with Robert Gummy taking up the right-back slot. At left-back, with no Iago available, Mads Pedersen could be in line for a start having recovered from his injury. Rani Khedira and Jan Moravek will form the pivot in the middle of the park, with the latter having the license to push forward when his side are in possession.
Daniel Caligiuri, who came off the bench to score from the penalty spot last time out, ought to be rewarded with a starting berth on the right flank while Andre Hahn slots in on the left. The duo will look to utilise spaces left behind Bayern’s high backline and cause problems. Marco Richter, who has three goals and assists apiece this term, will play off of the lone striker Florian Niederlechner.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gikiewicz; Gummy, Oxford, Gouweleeuw, Pedersen; Moravek, Khedira; Caligiuri, Richter, Hahn; Niederlechner
- Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has scored 20 times in 16 appearances against Augsburg.
- Augsburg are winless in their last 11 Bundesliga meetings with Bayern, losing nine. Markus Weinzierl was in charge for their last win over the record champions – in Munich on 9 May 2015.
- Hansi Flick will be taking charge of his 86th and final game as manager of Bayern Munich on Saturday. His record, till date, reads: W69 D8 L8.
- Andre Hahn is FC Augsburg’s leading goalscorer in Bundesliga this term with seven goals. However, he has managed just one goal in 11 appearances against Bayern Munich, back in 2015/16 when he was at Borussia Monchengladbach.
- Bayern Munich have scored at least two goals in five of their last six home matches against Augsburg across all competitions.
Player to Watch
Putting Lewandowski’s 40 Bundesliga goals into context:
▪️40+ goals in a league season in Europe’s top five leagues has only happened eight times since 2010
▪️Only four players have reached the mark—Messi and Ronaldo have both done it three times
▪️Lewy did it in 28 games 🤯 pic.twitter.com/ujnmEQDm2a
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 17, 2021
While it will certainly be a special occasion for the likes of David Alaba, Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng as they bid goodbye to Bayern Munich on Saturday, all eyes will invariably be on one man and one man only – Robert Lewandowski. The 32-year-old took one step closer to breaking the legendary Gerd Muller’s long-standing record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season last time out when he scored to go level with Der Bomber.
On Saturday, he will have the chance to make the record outright to his name only. The Bayern Munich superstar has plundered 40 goals in the league this term in just 28 games, scoring one every 59 minutes. And given his past exploits against FC Augsburg – 20 goals in just 16 games – one would be foolish to hedge their bets against Lewandowski not going past Muller.
Also worth keeping an eye out at the other end is Manuel Neuer, who will also be chasing a record of his own, as he seeks to become the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets in Bundesliga history, currently level with Oliver Kahn on 204.
Bayern Munich 3-1 FC Augsburg
Even though there have been slip-ups along the way, in general, Bayern Munich have regularly been a cut above the rest throughout the course of the season. And Saturday should not be any different, despite Augsburg being in a confident mood following their first win under Markus Weinzierl. A clean sheet may not be forthcoming, given Bayern’s at times dodgy defence but Robert Lewandowski & co. should be able to fire the team to another big win at the Allianz Arena to sign off on a high.