After the defeat against Mainz last weekend, every matchday is like a final for Bayern Munich. The outcome of the title race is not in their hands since Borussia Dortmund has a lead of one point. However, they need to win all of their six league games to make sure that they remain in contention when Dortmund slips up in the final phase of the season.
Matchday 29 will see Bayern host Hertha Berlin. Thomas Tuchel will hope to bounce back from last weekend’s capitulation against Mainz. The German coach will not be able to field his first-choice center-back pairing for the game on Sunday.
While talking to the media on Friday, Tuchel revealed that Dayot Upamecano is set to be out for two weeks due to a muscle strain. The French defender is ruled out for the game against Hertha Berlin. Upamecano has played every game under Tuchel, provided he is available for selection.
The French international has been fairly decent for Bayern throughout the season. He has matured as a defender, but there is still scope for significant improvement as he struggled against Manchester City in the Champions League. Upamecano remains a key player for Tuchel, so his absence is a blow for Die Roten.
In the absence of Dayot Upamecano, Bayern is likely to play a center-back partnership with Matthijs de Ligt and Benjamin Pavard. The Dutch defender has been in fine form as he won the club’s Player of the Month award for April. Meanwhile, Pavard has been doing a solid job in a back three and back four during Ruckrunde.
Tuchel has an ample amount of depth in the full-back positions, so he can use Pavard in central defense. Joao Cancelo will play in the left-back position since Alphonso Davies is ruled out for the rest of the season. Noussair Mazraoui will get a run in the right-back position after enduring frustration over playing time in the last few weeks.
Apart from Dayot Upamecano, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will also miss the game against Hertha Berlin due to injury. Sadio Mane scored against Mainz while playing in the number nine role, so he is expected to get a place in the starting XI on Sunday.
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Lucas Hernandez has taken a giant step in his recovery from a knee ligament injury. The French defender has been training outdoors, but he is not expected to play again this season. Manuel Neuer is also in the same boat as Hernandez. Both players are expected to be in training when pre-season begins in July.