Bayern Munich face their biggest test of the Bundesliga season so far as they host fellow unbeaten team Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern go into this game with a 100% record. Just before the international break, they grinded out a 2-1 win against their bogey team Borussia Mönchengladbach. Bayern had initially gone a goal down conceding a Ko Itakura header from a corner before proceeding to struggle to break down Gladbach’s defence. Leroy Sané equalised before Mathys Tel came off the bench to score the winner in the 87th minute.
Going into the game, Bayern have shown that they are still having some teething issues. Firstly, against a team that is just as good as them in RB Leipzig that were torn apart in the Super Cup and lost 3-0. Then against teams of lesser quality other issues arose. Against Werder Bremen, they allowed Bremen too many chances in front of goal and against a team that possesses a lot of attacking quality, that will be exposed, while against Gladbach they struggled to break down their defence without Jamal Musiala. While it is currently touch and go if Musiala will start against Leverkusen, if the 20-year-old is only fit enough for the bench then it is likely that Bayern will face the same issues again despite Sané being Bayern’s best player going forward in the opening three games.
While for Leverkusen they continue to get better. Despite a brief defensive hiccup in their 3-2 win against Leipzig, Leverkusen have steamrolled both Gladbach and Darmstadt. Every Leverkusen player has stepped up their game over the summer but the additions of Granit Xhaka and especially Victor Boniface have benefitted the team. The latter has four goals and two assists in three games and has picked up the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month award as well as the Player of the Month award.
This game against Bayern will be the perfect opportunity to see how Leverkusen match up to a team that will likely be challenging for the title come the latter stages of the season. The last time these two teams played, Leverkusen were the reason for Julian Nagelsmann’s sacking after a 2-1 win in the BayArena.
Joshua Kimmich is a doubt for Bayern having picked up a thigh injury in Germany friendly against Japan during the international break. While Jamal Musiala is likely to at least feature on the bench but may not be fit enough to start the game. Summer signing Raphaël Guerreiro is also expected to be fit enough to be on the bench following his injury picked up in pre-season.
For Leverkusen, recently injured Arthur and Patrik Schick are the only absentees for die Werkself as Amine Adli is fit and has completed his suspension as well.
Bayern Munich Predicted XI
Ulreich – Mazraoui, Upamecano, Kim Min-Jae, Davies, Goretzka, Laimer – Sané, Müller, Gnabry – Kane
Bayer Leverkusen Predicted XI
Hradecky – Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba – Frimpong, Andrich, Xhaka, Grimaldo – Hofmann, Wirtz – Boniface
GGFN | Jack Meenan