Bayern Munich travel to Augsburg ahead of big Liverpool clash

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 13: Players of FC Bayern Muenchen warm up during a training session at the club's Saebener Strasse training ground on February 13, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern)
MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 13: Players of FC Bayern Muenchen warm up during a training session at the club's Saebener Strasse training ground on February 13, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern) /

Bayern Munich kick off a hectic run of games with a visit to Bundesliga minnows Augsburg on Friday.

The games are coming thick and fast for Bayern Munich, as they enter the crucial phase of the season. Die Roten have some important games in next ten days across all competitions, including their blockbuster clash against Liverpool at Anfield. The Bavarians will first, however, travel to Augsburg on Friday as they target their second consecutive win in the Bundesliga.

Bayern were able to capitalize on Borussia Dortmund’s slip-up against Hoffenheim last weekend and climbed back to second place in the league after clinching a 3-1 win over Schalke. Dortmund’s lead at the top is now reduced to five points. The leaders are currently enduring a poor run of form, so Bayern have a chance to put more pressure on them by winning against Augsburg.

Friday’s home side, meanwhile, find themselves in a state of bother. They currently sit 15th in the league table, having just a three-point cushion over the relegation positions. Augsburg have won only one of their last ten Bundesliga games. The hosts desperately need a positive result against Bayern to arrest this slump, or else they will find it difficult to stay in the Bundesliga next season.

Team News

Niko Kovac refused to give a return date for Arjen Robben in his pre-match press conference. The Dutchman has been out of action for more than two months due to a thigh injury. He returned to first-team training last week, only to suffer yet another setback. Manuel Neuer, meanwhile, has recovered completely and is ready to play against Augsburg.

Corentin Tolisso took massive strides toward his return earlier this week. The Frenchman started training with the ball and is on course to make his comeback next month. Otherwise, there are no new injury concerns ahead of a crucial week for Bayern Munich.

More from Bayern Strikes

Predicted XI

Kovac is reluctant to make many changes for this game despite the upcoming midweek game against Liverpool. Manuel Neuer is expected to make his return to goal, as Kovac would like his number one to get some match rhythm before the upcoming Champions League clash. Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule will likely continue to feature in central defense, while Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba will slot in at the full-back positions.

The Croatian has found a perfect midfield balance in the last few games. Thiago Alcantara is likely to play the holding midfield role against Augsburg. The Spaniard has been in fine form since recovering from an ankle injury in December. Leon Goretzka has paired well with Thiago in the center of the park, so expect the German to start on Friday.

James Rodriguez is slowly getting back to form in his favored number ten role. The Colombian is in line to get his third consecutive start across all competitions. Kingsley Coman and Thomas Muller are expected to occupy the left and right sides of the attack respectively. Robert Lewandowski will lead the line for Die Roten on Friday.


Opposition Focus

Augsburg frustrated Bayern at the Allianz Arena earlier this season, returning home with one point. This result started Kovac’s worst run of results at Bayern. The home side will be hoping to frustrate their visitors once again on Friday by defending resolutely and showing efficiency in the final third. Bayern will have to be wary of Michael Gregoritsch in this game. The Austrian midfielder has been in decent form for the hosts this season.

Alfred Finnbogason will be a huge miss for the hosts, as the striker has scored ten goals in the Bundesliga this season. Sergio Cordova is likely to fill in for the Iceland international. The 21-year-old striker will have a big task on his hands on Friday as he has scored only two goals in the league this season. Jonathan Schmid and Philipp Max are a few other players Bayern should keep an eye on in this game.

Next. Javi Martinez wants to stay at Bayern Munich next season. dark


Augsburg 0-3 Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich have been decent away from home in the Bundesliga this season. Augsburg, meanwhile, have struggled lately, so I expect Bayern to get a convincing win. The return of Manuel Neuer will boost Bayern’s defense, so I back them to keep a clean sheet in this Bavarian derby.