At the weekend the guest FC Bayern on Schalke. Which starting line-up could Hansi Flick choose for the away game at the bottom of the table?
The start of the second half of the season is relatively stress-free for FC Bayern. Before the Club World Cup, in which the triple winner intervenes on February 8th, Hansi Flick and his family can look forward to two non-English weeks – a luxury that has become almost rare since the Corona restart in May last year. It is precisely in this phase that Flick wants to adapt the training load to the individual players before they have to play beat after beat again (via fcbayern.com): “We want to control things individually in a week like this. We still have 13 games until the international break. That is still a lot, so we have to control the load properly,” he said at the press conference on Friday afternoon.
However, the people of Munich have only just come from two exhausting English weeks. After 90 intense minutes against Borussia Mönchengladbach, 120 minutes in the DFB Cup against Holstein Kiel and two close games against SC Freiburg and FC Augsburg followed. In the two most recent appearances in the Bundesliga, the team presented itself much more focused and determined, but lacked its efficiency in the end and had to survive moments of happiness – such as with Nils Petersen’s aluminum goal last Sunday or the missed penalty by Augsburg striker Alfred Finnbogason.
On Sunday afternoon (3:30 p.m.) Bayern are challenged against Schalke 04. The record champions have not lost to Royal Blues for 20 Bundesliga games and even won the first leg 8-0, but “that’s zero-point-zero in our minds,” Flick clarified. “Schalke have a team with good individual players. The table position does not reflect their quality,” warned the 55-year-old, and the poor condition of the pitch in the Veltins Arena made conditions difficult: “We have to know that we are imprecise Passes can come. But that also happens with the opponent, “said Flick. “We have to be ready and take advantage of our opponents’ mistakes.”
The staff for the weekend is practically unchanged, only Corentin Tolisso will not be available. Flick could rotate on a larger scale, but he should only make minor changes – after all, after the game at Schalke, there is a very normal week of training without a competitive game.
In the expected 4-2-3-1, the back four in front of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer should remain unchanged, so Benjamin Pavard, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Lucas Hernandez would begin. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka are placed on the double six, before that Leroy Sané, Thomas Müller and Kingsley Coman could play. It is also expected that Robert Lewandowski, who was prematurely replaced in Augsburg, will be back from the start.