Similarly to Bayern, Werder Bremen started their season on Saturday. Also similarly, they too felt the sting of defeat, losing to Viktoria Koln 3-2 in the first round of the DFB Pokal. It certainly was not the start manager Ole Werner had hoped for, as his side were forced to play with ten men following Amos Peiper’s red card in only the 11th minute. Despite playing a man down, Bremen would take the lead twice, only to be pegged back, before the 3. Liga side claimed a 94th-minute winner, ending any hope of a deep cup run for Bremen.
In goal, Czech national teamer Jiri Pavlenka should get the start as he has been a fixture for Bremen between the pipes since he joined them in 2017. In front of him, Marco Friedl was fit enough to make the bench and later play vs Viktoria Koln, so expect the former Bayern Munich man to get the start on the left side of the back 3. Niklas Stark and Amos Piper will join Friedl in the back three.
Another former Bayern player, Mitchell Weiser looks healthy enough to start at right wing-back for Bremen, with Anthony Jung giving a more defensive balance as the left-sided wing-back. Former Liverpool player Naby Keita does not look to be fit in time for the match, so the midfield combination of Jens Stage and Leonardo Bittencourt should sit in front of the back three. Look for Bittencourt to step higher occasionally leaving Stage as the single pivot at times.
In front of Stage and Bittencourt, Romano Schmid will be tasked with creating and leading the attacking transitions as the attacking midfielder. Leading the line is Niclas Fullkrug, who already picked up where he left off last season grabbing a goal in Saturday’s Pokal match. Alongside him forming a front two will be Marvin Ducksch, who was also on the scoresheet on Saturday.
"Predicted Starting XI (3-5-2) Pavlenka Piper-Stark-Freidl Stage-Bittencourt Weiser-Scmid-Jung Fullkrug-Ducksch"
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Werder Bremen 1-2 Bayern Munich (Goals: Gnabry and Kane)
Serge Gnabry ended the last Bundesliga season strongly, so expect him to be on the scoresheet. Harry Kane has been a prolific goalscorer for the past few seasons. He will hit the ground running on Friday after training with the squad for a week.