The most important part of the season has come. The domestic campaigns are nearly over and all the cup competitions are in the latter stages. On Wednesday, Bayern Munich will face off the defending champions, Real Madrid in the Champions League Semifinals. It is crucial that Bayern get a solid result in the first game at home, before they travel to the Bernabeau next week. Below are the players that should start in the game against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Jupp Heynckes has used a few formations since he has come back to Bayern. While Bayern Munich are so strong that they have looked commendable in any formation that they have played in this season, it is imperative that Jupp gets it right for the massive game. It is obvious that the best and go-to formation for Bayern Munich is the 4-2-3-1. This is the same formation that they played in under Jupp Heynckes when they won the treble in 2013. This is the formation that they should go for in the Champions League match.
Goalkeeper: Sven Ulreich
Bayern Munich does not have another option besides Sven Ulreich. Manuel Neuer is still out with an injury and Sven Ulreich has played in almost every single game this season. He has been outstanding in between the sticks and this will be the biggest game he has ever played in throughout his career. A game of this magnitude will display the real truth of what kind of quality Sven Ulreich has.
Defense: Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and David Alaba
The defense is pretty self-explanatory as well. Kimmich is arguably the world’s best right-back and will be vital for Bayern, in order to provide the team with overlapping runs on the right side and prevent Marcelo from causing Bayern Munich problems on the left flank. Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels are one of the world’s best center-back duos and have proven to be able to play well in big games in their careers. David Alaba is a player with a vast amount of experience and has been a key player for Bayern Munich over the last seven years. He will look to replicate the same sort of form that he was in during Bayern’s Champions League winning season of 2013.
— Jerome Boateng (@JB17Official) April 22, 2018
Holding midfielders: Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara
Javi Martinez has been one of Bayern’s most important players this season. His ability to cover ground and protect the back line is extraordinary and he must be starting for Bayern Munich on Wednesday. He would be the perfect player to have on the pitch, in order to disrupt the likes of Isco and Luka Modric. Real Madrid have a world class midfield and Bayern Munich must do everything they can to prevent them from getting a foothold into the game. Javi Martinez is a renowned destroyer in the midfield and will do his best to intercept passes from the Real Madrid midfielders.
There are few candidates for the other holding midfield position. Unfortunately, Arturo Vidal is not one of them due to injury. Some may give Sebastian Rudy a shout after his impressive performance over the weekend. Corentin Tolisso is another option and he has played well in the Champions League this season, specifically scoring a brace against PSG in the group stages. But of all the options that Bayern Munich have, Thiago has to be the one to start alongside Javi Martinez.
Thiago has not been able to play many games this season due to injury. When he has played, he has been sensational and one of Bayern’s best players. His ability to dictate the tempo of the game is why he should be starting in the game on Wednesday. Thiago can be the key player that will help the Bavarians win the battle in the midfield. Thiago will do a good job of keeping possession in order to lessen the influence of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
Attacking Midfielders: Thomas Muller, James Rodriguez and Franck Ribery
The depth of Bayern Munich gives them the option of choosing from Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, James Rodriguez and Franck Ribery for the attacking midfield positions. Arjen Robben is a big-game player and has usually featured in these types of games for Bayern Munich. While the winger has been in good form this season, he should be the one that should start the game from the bench.
Arjen Robben has been in good form, but Thomas Muller has been in sensational form recently. The Raumdeuter scored a goal and grabbed an assist in their 3-0 win over Hanover this past weekend. He is back to being one of Bayern’s most influential players and is also a player who does not shy away from the big occasions. Thomas Muller in the starting lineup will allow Joshua Kimmich to push further forward, since Muller will tuck infield and operate just behind the striker. This will allow Bayern Munich to have the fluidity that Germany had on the right flank when they used to play with Lahm and Muller in the lineup.
James Rodriguez must be in the game as the chief creator of Bayern Munich. He has also been one of Bayern Munich’s best players this season and is the most creative player that Bayern Munich has. James will surely want to play in this game, so that he can prove to his former team what he is capable of doing in a match of this caliber. A player who is world class and has a point to prove is perfect to have in the starting lineup.
Lastly, Ribery should be operating on the left flank in this game. Bayern Munich do not have anyone healthy that can play on the left wing, since Kingsley Coman is injured. Ribery is the only option and is a great player to have in this kind of game. The French national has been in strong form and has played well in the Champions League for Bayern in the past. He will look to have a good partnership with his good friend Alaba on the left flank and try to provide his team with good service from the left wing.
Forward: Robert Lewandowski
There is no doubt about who will be starting up top for Die Roten. Robert Lewandowski has scored thirty-nine goals in all competitions this season and is currently in fantastic form. He is Bayern Munich’s best player and one of the best players in the world. The Polish international will look to repeat what he did in 2013 for Borussia Dortmund and cause problems for Real Madrid’s defense. If he is able to do that. Real Madrid may have a rough time against Bayern Munich. Sandro Wagner is a phenomenal plan B for Bayern Munich and has proven to be a great player to bring off the bench to make an immediate impact.