Bayern Munich’s season got off to the perfect start last weekend with a convincing 5-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFL-Supercup.
They’ll be competing in another domestic cup competition this weekend, but face considerably easier opposition with a DFB-Pokal clash against SV Drochtersen/Assel.
Here’s Bayern’s best possible lineup for the match they’ll be expecting to win comfortably.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Manuel Neuer (GK) – It doesn’t matter who Bayern are playing, there should only ever be one man between the sticks for the reigning Bundesliga champions.
Joshua Kimmich (RB) – Kimmich remains Bayern’s first choice right back, and though the youngster is already highly talented, it looks as if he has some way to go before he hits his ceiling. Expect him to play an important role on the overlap as Bayern surge forward.
Niklas Sule (CB) – With the transfer speculation surrounding Jerome Boateng, Sule should keep his spot after a clean sheet against Frankfurt. If he can form a strong partnership with Mats Hummels, Boateng may find it hard to get back into the starting XI.
Mats Hummels (CB) – Hummels is another shoo-in for this Bayern side, and he showed no signs of missing his usual defensive partner Boateng when playing against Frankfurt.
Juan Bernat (LB) – Bernat is the obvious candidate to replace David Alaba, who sustained a nasty injury against Frankfurt. This weekend’s clash won’t offer the perfect opportunity for the Spaniard to stake a claim in Kovac’s Bayern side, but he’ll be given plenty of chances to display his attacking threat.
Javi Martinez (DM) – Martinez often goes unnoticed in Bayern’s side because he tends to do the dirty parts of the game, but he does them to an incredibly high standard. He may be given a freer role this weekend, giving him the opportunity to show his range of passing.
Kingsley Coman (RM) – There appears to be no reason to risk Arjen Robben against SV Drochtersen/Assel, especially given the Dutchman is now 34. Coman could step up and start, his impact off the bench against Frankfurt was felt immediately as he grabbed himself a goal.
Leon Goretzka (CM) – Goretzka will be looking to force himself into Bayern’s starting XI ahead of the new Bundesliga season following his switch from Schalke, and what better chance to show off your skills than against lower league opposition?
Thiago (CM) – Thiago will once again be important for Bayern this season, and in this sort of match he could run riot. Expect the Spaniard to control the tempo of the game and play between the lines against what is expected to be a low defensive block.
Franck Ribery (LM) – The veteran Frenchman played the full 90 minutes against Frankfurt and looks to be a crucial part in Niko Kovac’s plans for the season ahead. He could have a field day against this kind of opposition, and an in form Ribery is a scary proposition.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – It may be overkill to field Lewandowski against opposition who play in the fourth tier of German football, but after a hat trick in the German Super Cup, new Bayern boss Niko Kovac will be looking to keep his Polish star in top form.