After a big setback against Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend, Bayern Munich will look to bounce back when they host Union Berlin on matchday 22. It is a significant game in the context of the title race, as Die Roten and Union Berlin are level on points in the Bundesliga table.
The game between Union Berlin and Bayern will be a great tactical battle. Union Berlin will be coming into the game after eliminating Ajax from Europa League on Thursday. Let us look at three things to watch out for Bayern in this top-of-the-table clash on Sunday.
Bayern’s formation against Union Berlin
Julian Nagelsmann will not be able to call upon Dayot Upamecano on Sunday. The French defender will serve a one-game suspension after getting an early red card against Monchengladbach last weekend. The German coach has been using a back three in the past few games.
Nagelsmann has three center-backs at his disposal for Sunday- Matthijs de Ligt, Benjamin Pavard, and Daley Blind. Starting all three is a good option for Die Roten, but it will leave no defensive cover on the bench. With more attacking options available for this game, Nagelsmann can also field an attacking line-up. After the defeat against Gladbach, Rekordmeister needs a strong response on Sunday. It will be intriguing to see which system Nagelsmann will use to get the result and convincing performance.
Thomas Muller’s response to recent demotion to bench
The last couple of games has been difficult for Thomas Muller. He started on the bench against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. After Upamecano was sent off against Gladbach, Muller had to make way for a defensive substitute. For a player that is used to starting games regularly, not playing in crucial games will be a major setback.
While speaking to the media on Friday, Nagelsmann confirmed that Muller would start against Union Berlin. The experienced German forward has always bounced back brilliantly whenever he has faced setbacks. Muller will be up for the game against Union Berlin, which may prove to be vital in getting all three points.
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Sadio Mane’s return to action
This week has been positive for Bayern in terms of injury news. Sadio Mane resumed training with the first team after two months. He had suffered a serious injury to his tibia during a 6-1 win against Werder Bremen at the start of November. The Senegalese forward will be part of the squad against Union Berlin on Sunday.
Mane had a mixed start to life at Bayern, but he has been productive in the final third. He has been sorely missed in the past few weeks, so the Bavarian faithful will be excited to see him back in action. Mane will look to start his new year with a goal when he comes off the bench against Union Berlin.