Vfl Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich: Bundesliga Matchday 16 Preview

Will Bayern Munich be able to finish off 2023 with a victory, or will former manager Niko Kovac and Wolfsburg take points off the defending Bundesliga champions?
Bayern Munich will travel away to Wolfsburg on Matchday 16 of the Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich will travel away to Wolfsburg on Matchday 16 of the Bundesliga. / Maja Hitij/GettyImages
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The last matchday of 2023 is upon us as Bayern Munich will travel to the Volkswagen Arena to take on Vfl Wolfsburg on Wednesday. This may be the last time we see this particular squad as the club is sure to be busy in the transfer market this winter.

Wednesday's match will be a quick turnaround for Bayern as they faced a high flying Stuttgart side on Sunday. The game on Sunday was quite different than what we expect from a Bayern Munich Bundesliga match, as Stuttgart dominated possession and saw the Bavarians drop deep with intent to counter the Stuttgart build-up play. Thomas Tuchel's game plan worked perfectly as Harry Kane was able to get on the score sheet in just the second minute. After creating numerous chances in the first half to add to their lead, Kane would score again in the second half and Kim Min-jae would score his first goal in the Bundesliga to finish off the scoring for a decisive 3-0 Bayern Munich victory.

Bayern Munich will again look to keep the pressure on league leaders Leverkusen with a result on Wednesday. However, with short rest for both teams and both squads dealing with illness/suspensions, let's have a look at what we can expect from both sides on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich

Manuel Neuer was not asked to do much in goal against Stuttgart as he was able to keep the visitors off the score sheet. He seems to be growing ever more confident in his build-up play and positioning with every passing game. There is no reason to believe he should not start again on Wednesday.

With Noussair Mazraoui out for a few weeks, Konrad Laimer has filled in admirably at right back as he showcased his tremendous work rate and tackling ability. With Die Roten already limited at right-back options, I expect to see the Austrian start again on Wednesday. Matthijs de Ligt returned to the match-day squad on Sunday, but with the form of both Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae recently, it will be hard to pick against that pairing. Alphonso Davies seemed to have picked up a small injury late in Sunday's match. While it is not known the extent of the injury, I think Tuchel will play it safe and we will see Raphael Guerreiro play in the left-back position on Wednesday.

Sunday's match saw Guerreiro and the 19-year-old Aleksandar Pavlovic fill in centrally for Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. The German midfielders missed the game due to illness. Both played extremely well with their first pairing together, but if Kimmich and Goretzka are fit for Wednesday, I think both will start. In front of them, I see Thomas Muller getting the start centrally and will take his place roaming around the attack and interchanging with the front three.

Thomas Tuchel surprised more than a few with his selection and setup for the Stuttgart match on Sunday. Not only was the tactical approach different, but the decision to play 4-4-2 was surprising as well. I do think it gave a bit of a glimpse of how he wants to play in the absence of injured Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry. While Mathys Tel is a capable option to play on the left side, Jamal Musiala started on the right flank against Stuttgart. I think Musiala will continue to play on the right wing on Wednesday. In recent weeks we have seen Tuchel deploy Leroy Sane on the left. and I don't see why he wouldn't again play him on that side. Of course, Harry Kane starts centrally and will look to continue his record pace.

Bayern Munich Predicted Starting XI