The injury-riddled Bavarian club are looking to continue their hot start with a trip away to Bochum.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Bochum shocked Bayern 4-2 this past February at their Vonovia Ruhrstadion with some world-class goals. The club in their sophomore Bundesliga season are coping with massive summer departures, making the task of stopping one of the hottest sides in world football that much more daunting.
Die Unabsteigbaren will need a fit Gerrit Holtmann to provide some much-needed creativity in Bochum's attack. Can Simon Zoller rekindle his brilliant play from last weekend against Hoffenheim to record another brace? Manuel Riemann, who tops the early rankings for best fantasy goalkeepers, will be one busy man holding things down at the back. Bochum already have a man-marking issue, as they've conceded a league-high four headed goals so far in this campaign.
Trainer Thomas Reis stated that, "There is always pressure. But it's still early in the season. We want to be uncomfortable opposition for the opponent and keep the game open for as long as possible on Sunday...We have to defend well, but also have the courage to find the gaps. We can take a lot from a game like this."
Left-back Danilo Soares is out with a hip injury, while Christopher Antwi-Adjei, Jannes Horn, Patrick Osterhage and Konstantinos Stafylidis are doubtful. Holtmann should return from a minor knee injury and midfielder Jacek Goralski is expected to feature. New signing Lys Mousset is unlikely to be fit in time for Matchday 3.
Bayern have roared out of the gate and don't seem affected by the absence of striker Robert Lewandowski in the slightest. But, an injury bug has found its way to Munich with Jamal Musiala and Serge Gnabry likely out for the contest. This means that Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane could immediately slide back into the starting lineup.
Sadio Mane is hoping his luck turns around, as he's already hit the bar on six different occasions in league play. The defense is facing their own issues, as both Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano could miss out. If Upamecano is unable to go, does that give Noussair Mazraoui his first start at right-back with Benjamin Pavard moving to center defense?
Manager Julian Nagelsmann emphasized that, "Bochum played very bravely against us in both games (last year). With Riemann, they have a goalkeeper who plays a lot of good long balls...we have to be prepared for both long and short balls. I'm looking forward to the game and hoping for a different result than last season."
Bayern are being cautious by ruling Musiala out after he picked up an adductor strain this week. De Ligt is doubtful with a torn ligament in his hand, while Gnabry and Upamecano are questionable. Striker Eric Choupo-Moting and midfielder Leon Goretzka will definitely not be in the squad to face Bochum.