After facing criticism over recent results during the international break, Bayern Munich will be looking to get things right in the Bundesliga on Friday. The defending champions will be hosting Bayer Leverkusen on matchday eight of the Bundesliga.
Bayern is currently on their longest winless run in the league since 2000. After collecting nine points in the first three league games, Die Roten has managed to get three points in the following four Bundesliga games. Bayer Leverkusen is also massively struggling this season, but Die Roten is under more pressure as they cannot afford another poor result. Let us look at three things to watch out for in Friday’s league game at Allianz Arena.
How Nagelsmann solves the final third woes for Bayern Munich?
Bayern Munich started the season on fire, scoring 15 goals in the first three league games of the season. The fluid front four was working efficiently, putting pressure on the opposition by consistently winning the ball higher up the pitch. All Bayern forwards were also ruthless in the box, which made it difficult for the opposition to come back in the game.
Ever since the emphatic win against Bochum, things have spiralled down for Bayern’s attack. They have scored only four goals in the last four league games from 92 shots. The forwards have been incredibly wasteful, and there is a complete lack of chemistry amongst them. Julian Nagelsmann needs to get all his forwards firing again to bring Bayern back on track in the Bundesliga. It will be intriguing to see what changes in approach or system Nagelsmann makes against Leverkusen to solve Die Roten’s woes in the final third. (Stats courtesy: FotMob)
Joshua Kimmich’s response to criticism
Bayern struggled to dictate the tempo of the game against Augsburg. The home side broke up play often due to turnovers and was eventually rewarded for their persistence. Former Bayern defender Markus Babbel delivered a scathing criticism of Joshua Kimmich after the defeat against Augsburg. He believes Kimmich is not showing enough discipline to play the number six role.
The German international has not responded to this criticism, but Julian Nagelsmann defended him in the press conference on Thursday. Bayern will have to control the game better on Friday, so Kimmich will have a big role in achieving this objective. Kimmich did a fairly good job for Germany in the deeper role, so it will be intriguing to see what midfield role Kimmich will play against Leverkusen.
Want your voice heard? Join the Bayern Strikes team!
Consistency in intensity over the entire game
Bayern was very good at counter-pressing in the first three league games of the season. They were suffocating opposition in their half and killing the game by half-time. Over the last four league games, the pressing and intensity from the team have been inconsistent. The opposition was able to dominate crucial phases of the game since Bayern dropped off in terms of intensity.
Hasan Salihamidzic recently admitted that Die Roten would respond strongly after the international break in terms of intensity and performance. It will be interesting to see if Bayern can replicate the strong and relentless intensity they showed in the first three league games of the season. A similar approach will definitely help them in taking all three points for the first time in more than a month.