Bayern Munich are aiming for their eighth successive win in all competitions as they take on SpVgg Greuther Furth on Friday evening.
After a rusty start to the campaign, Bayern Munich have picked themselves up quite nicely. They are currently on a seven game-winning run that includes victories over clubs like Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and FC Barcelona. Their most recent victory came against newly-promoted VfL Bochum, with the Bavarians securing a comfortable 7-0 victory at the Allianz Arena.
The three points helped them regain their place at the top of the Bundesliga table, thanks to VfL Wolfsburg’s draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. On Friday, Bayern will now be looking to maintain their place at the top when they take on another newly-promoted club in the form of SpVgg Greuther Furth, at Sportpark Ronhof.
While the Rekordmeister have had a brilliant start to their campaign, their opponents have had a miserable time since returning to the top-flight. The young Stefan Leitl and his men have collected just one point in five matches and along with Arminia Bielefeld and Eintracht Frankfurt, are the only club yet to secure a single win.
That record could continue this weekend as the minnows face the enormous task of overcoming the mighty Bayern. Leitl’s men have shown a lot of heart in the early parts of the season, but after conceding the joint highest number of goals in the five matches, they are not being favoured to salvage anything out of this game, especially against a side that has averaged four goals a game in the league so far.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of this David vs Goliath encounter in the Bundesliga this Friday.
Team News & Tactics
While they have conceded 13 goals in just five matches, the biggest problem for Greuther Furth this season is the lack of impetus going forward.
👀 Flutlichtspiel gegen den Rekordmeister!
— SPVGG GREUTHER FÜRTH (@kleeblattfuerth) September 23, 2021
The main striker Branimir Hrgota has scored twice from penalties but needs to deliver on the counter, alongside Havard Nielsen. Stefan Leitl, unfortunately, is missing out on the services of Jessic Ngankam, whose pace might have been useful against the Bayern Munich defence this Friday.
As for the defensive department, Leitl might want to revert to a three-man backline given the quality of the opposition attack. As such, the two central defenders in Maxmilian Bauer and Nick Viergever could expect additional support from former Hoffenheim starlet Justin Hoogma, who was once coached by Julian Nagelsmann.
Marco Meyerhofer and Jetro Willems are set to occupy the wing-back slots, as usual, with the latter likely to be given more freedom going forward. It will be interesting to see how his combination with Jeremy Dudziak on the left flank causes problems for the Bayern Munich defence.
Elsewhere, Greuther Furth should continue with the midfield duo of Sebastian Griesbeck and Paul Seguin, with Dudziak set to operate in a slightly advanced role.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Burchert; Bauer, Viergever, Hoogma; Meyerhofer, Seguin, Griesbeck, Dudziak, Willems; Hrgota, Nielsen
Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann need to be careful of his team selection, as he keeps one eye on the upcoming UEFA Champions League game against Dynamo Kyiv in midweek.
🗣️ @J__Nagelsmann on the start to the season: "I'm impressed with the desire and character of the team. However, we still have a lot of potential and I think that we will get even better. I'm looking forward to that." #SGFFCB #FCBayern pic.twitter.com/vqrOEANbV1
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) September 23, 2021
There might be a few changes from the side that featured against Bochum last weekend. Jamal Musiala, for one, is pushing for a start and may even replace Serge Gnabry once again on the right-hand side of the attack, with Leroy Sane operating on the opposite flank.
The rest of the Bayern Munich attack will almost remain the same, though, with Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller operating in central roles, hoping to add to their tally up against a lowly Furth defence.
The midfield department may remain unchanged as well given the way both Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka have formed a solid combination that has dominated matches week in week out. They can not only create chances and score goals but also offer assurance in the build-up play and possession.
However, there might be changes in store in the defensive unit. Dayot Upamecano is hoping for a comeback, replacing Lucas Hernandez while Benjamin Pavard might make way for Josip Stanisic at right-back. Not many changes are expected elsewhere, as Bayern look to keep up their momentum rather than experimenting with their squad.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Stanisic, Upamecano, Sule, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Musiala, Muller, Sane; Lewandowski
- Bayern pair Leon Goretzka and Niklas Süle will play their 200th Bundesliga games if they feature at the Sportpark Ronhof.
- Good luck charm for Die Kleeblätter? Fürth have averaged a point per game from their Friday fixtures in the Bundesliga, compared to 0.5 on other days.
- Fürth last beat Bayern in August 1964, when they put two past a team featuring goalkeeping great Sepp Maier.
- Robert Lewandowski would equal a record set by Maier’s former teammate Gerd Müller if he finds the target against Fürth and scores in a 16th consecutive Bundesliga game.
- The former Borussia Dortmund striker already has seven goals in five games this term – one every 57 minutes. His teammate Jamal Musiala’s goal involvements (two goals, two assists) have come every 41 minutes he has played.
Player to Watch
Leroy Sane's record for club and country since he switched to the left wing five games into the season:
• 8 games
• 7 assists
• 5 goals
— Stefan Bienkowski (@SBienkowski) September 18, 2021
From being a much-maligned figure at Bayern Munich to becoming one of Bayern Munich’s most in-form attackers right now, Leroy Sane has enjoyed a marvellous turnaround over the past few weeks. It appears Nagelsmann’s decision to shift him into the left-wing role has worked wonders for the former Man City winger, who has lit up the Bundesliga with his skills and productivity in the final third.
Sane most notably scored the all-important opener with a free-kick goal against Bochum last weekend. This Friday, he will have the opportunity to further extend his tally of three goals and five assists in all competitions. It will be also interesting to see how the winger fares against a deep defensive line and link up with Alphonso Davies out wide.
Greuther Furth 0-4 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich are set for another romping victory up against a Greuther Furth side, who clearly lack the quality for the Bundesliga and had a subpar team even in the second division last season. It has been evident in their performances so far this campaign and it will be a surprise to see them avoid any humiliation let alone a defeat.
The likes of Sane and Musiala could be excellent picks for fantasy with Lewandowski expected to further extend his tally and keep up with Erling Haaland for the Torjagerkanone.