, , , , , , Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg Predictions
Bayern Munich, as well Running with Thrashing Of Frankfurt Robert who? Bayern Munich proved that there’s still life after Lewandowski, beating Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1 in the first weekend of their new season. They were defeated by Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1, who won the Europa League last season and will now be drawn in pot 1 of the Champions League group stage draw. This is a great team. Bayern thrashed them in their stadium. Julian Nagelsmann’s tactical system immediately paid off.
Nagelsmann worked hard this summer. Having trialed a back three in the second half of last term (with mixed results), the Bayern boss has once again shown himself to be a flexible, astute tactician by shifting to a 4-2-2-2 formation at the start of 2022/23.
This shape would be less effective with Lewandowski at the front. However, watching Bayern’s play last weekend with so much energy and fluidity showed that Nagelsmann pushed to get the club to sell Poland International after he decided he didn’t want to stay at the Allianz Arena.
We shouldn’t rewrite the history of one match. Lewandowski was a top player in his last three years in Munich. He averaged over a goal every game and is still one of the most highly-regarded players in the world. Bayern will be better off without Lewandowski’s departure. They still have a strong attack threat with Sadio Mene and Serge Gnabry at the top. Jamal Musiala and Thomas Muller can also play in the 4-2-2-2 formation. 10 positions between the lines of the opposition’s midfield and defense.
Bayern are likely to win the Bundesliga title for the 11th season in a row, so we can probably only judge this new system on its effectiveness in European competition. Nagelsmann is happy with the results so far and Bayern will have another opportunity to display their new attack against Wolfsburg.
Wolfsburg Hopes for a More Stable Campaign
The last season was an exciting one for Wolfsburg. The club started with four consecutive wins, which convinced many fans Mark van Bommel’s group were on their way to a top-four finish. However, things quickly went wrong.
Van Bommel was out of work by October’s end after a four match winless streak. The Wolves were looking over their shoulders as Florian Kohfeldt oversaw six consecutive losses.
The club is hoping for a more calm and stable season. Niko Kovac is the ex-Bayer manager. His team has been encouraged to be proactive and play more pressing. However, we should expect some deeper blocks on Sunday as Bayern is standing in the way.
Qualifying for either the Europa League (or the Europa Conference League) should be Wolfsburg’s goal for this season. Club members have been trying to lower the average age of their squad by recruiting younger players such as Jakub Kaminski and Mattias Vanberg. Although Wolfsburg seems to be on the right track, a draw with Werder Bremen at matchday 1 shows that they still have work to do.
Wolfsburg Will Struggle to Lay a Glove on Bayern Munich
Bayern were 5-0 up at half-time of their meeting with Frankfurt last time out, in effect ending the match as a contest after 45 minutes. They lost control after the break but Frankfurt managed only two goals all game, despite being home. The expected goals came in at 0. 76, which suggests that Bayern were a little unfortunate not to keep a clean sheet.
It is obvious that this formation of 4-2-2-2 is designed to get the most out of Bayern’s attacking forces. Nagelsmann can get all four of Gnabry Mane Musiala, Muller, and Musiala into one team. It also encourages full backs, especially Alphonso Davies, to move forward and be part of the attack whenever possible. Bayern may be vulnerable against the best of teams.
In the Bundesliga however, they should still be able keep their opponents at arms length. Wolfsburg will attempt to attack Bayern with counter-attacks whenever possible, but this is not an easy task.
Perversely, they would have the best chance to score and Bayern will be able to take their eyes off of the ball. This strategy is not one Kovac has chosen. Here’s how to back the hosts to maintain a clean slate
How to Watch Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg
Teams Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg Location Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany Time Sunday, 14 August 2022, 11. 30AM EST How to watch ESPN+