Bayern Munich: Three things to watch in home game against Mainz

Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, and Serge Gnabry, Bayern Munich. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, and Serge Gnabry, Bayern Munich. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images) /

Three things to watch when Bayern Munich returns to action after the winter break.

After a small break during Christmas, Bayern Munich will begin 2021 with a home league game against Mainz. The German Champions will be heavy favourites for this game, but the last few weeks in the Bundesliga have shown that Die Roten’s weaknesses can be exploited with an astute gameplan.

Despite numerous draws in December, Bayern managed to end the year at the top of the league. They managed to clinch the top spot after scoring an injury-time winner against Bayer Leverkusen two weeks ago. Apart from a routine win on Sunday, here are few things Bayern Munich fans will be intrigued to watch.

Hansi Flick’s midfield selection

Bayern will have a big group of players available for selection on Sunday. In such a scenario, it will be interesting to see Flick’s midfield combination against Mainz. Joshua Kimmich highlighted his influence on the team by delivering a strong cameo away at Leverkusen. However, he has returned from a serious injury, so starting him straightaway might not be the best idea.

Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez are also back in first-team training. Flick has largely been using the midfield pairing of Kimmich and Goretzka this season. He might be tempted to do that on Sunday, but a cautious approach cannot be ruled out to ease both players into action.

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Who will start in the left-back position?

Alphonso Davies is completely fit after recovering from a serious injury he suffered in October. In December, he managed to get few games under his belt to get the rhythm on the pitch. Lucas Hernandez did well in the left-back position when Davies was on the sidelines.

It will be interesting to see Flick’s left-back selection on Sunday. Maybe, Flick will try to play Hernandez in the central defense to start preparing for the departure of David Alaba. The German manager has been clever with the rotation this season. Since both left-back are in good form, it will be a nice situation to manage for Flick during Ruckrunde.

Will Bayern start games on the front foot?

Ever since the last international break in November, Bayern has found it difficult to start games on a strong note. Sloppy starts have given the opposition a head start in the game, and often, Die Roten found themselves a goal down inside 30 minutes.

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The fatigue has been accumulated in players due to the congestion of games, so slow starts are understandable. This break could have done the player a world of good, so it will be intriguing to see whether Flick has addressed sloppy starts during this break.