What state is Bayern Munich in?

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Kylian Mbappé probably absent, Lionel Messi uncertain, an elimination from the Coupe de France by the Marseille rival, a quality of play in freefall since the end of the World Cup, a coach short of ideas… PSG is going through a very bad period, at the worst time, that of facing Bayern Munich in the knockout stages of the Champions League. But the German club has not been living in comfort in recent weeks either. On the contrary, it is shaken by many problems.

Neuer and Gnabry are talking

“In Germany, as soon as the non-sporting takes precedence over the sporting at Bayern, we talk about FC Hollywood (nickname given to Bayern during the 90s because of the many internal tensions). And right now it’s FC Hollywood.”explains Lukas Hörster, German journalist for Fussball Transfers. “Firstly, the World Cup was a disaster, and several players came home injured or morally affected by the German debacle. Then Neuer broke his leg during his ski vacation. There followed the long search for his replacement Yann Sommer, then the controversy born of the dismissal of goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic, close to Neuer..

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Indeed, in recent days at Bayern, it is Manuel Neuer who crystallizes the attention despite his unavailability until the end of the season. The club’s staff, played by Oliver Kahn, was forced to intervene to call him to order. The controversy does not deflate, and the hypothesis of a definitive downgrading of the goalkeeper (present at the club since 2011) is gaining momentum. Another controversial subject, the misconduct of Serge Gnabry, guilty of a Parisian detour for Fashion Week two days before a match, which greatly displeased the Bavarian management. Hasan Salihamidzic, the sporting director, publicly picked it up. Without forgetting that the Bavarian staff did not appreciate the remarkable exit of Leroy Sané on Saturday, when he was replaced against Bochum (3-0).

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Musiala at the top, Cancelo well integrated

So much for the extra-sporting affairs that pollute the locker room as much as they delight the German press. On the pitch, it’s not the great Bayern either. “When the Bundesliga resumed, there were three consecutive 1-1s, with strange performances, without fluidity, with a lot of technical errors, few ideas. Even the 4-2 win over Wolfsburg was a sham”, exposes Lukas Hörster. “We feel a lack of motivation in some Bundesliga matches, the Champions League is of paramount importance, as for PSG, with the feeling that an elimination would make the end of the season uninteresting”.

Bayern have nevertheless regained the lead in the Bundesliga (one point ahead of the astonishing Union Berlin), and are moving forward with a bit more confidence than PSG, even if everything is not yet perfect. In particular the lack of reference to the attacking position. “Bayern played with a fake number 9 at the start of the season, sometimes Mané, sometimes Gnabry, sometimes Müller. Then in the first crisis, Nagelsmann trusted Choupo-Moting, which was effective. Still, he’s not the world-class striker that Bayern can claim.”explains Hörster.

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Bayern are better but…

On the other hand, if the Bavarian club tinkers in this position, it has considerably strengthened with the unexpected arrival of João Cancelo during the winter transfer window. A movement to the credit of Hasan Salihamidzic. “Salihamidzic was criticized a lot on recruitment, but this year, between De Ligt, Mané and Cancelo in big reinforcements, young talents like Tel and Gravenberch, and smart deals like Sommer and Blind, he convinced the supporters. And Cancelo has been very good in his first two matches, with two assists already.”.

The starting lineup of Bayern Munich appears today to be much more balanced than that proposed by PSG in the absence of Mbappé, even if hope is reborn on this subject. With a possible composition: Sommer – Cancelo, Upamecano, de Ligt, Davies – Kimmich, Goretzka – Sané, Musiala, Coman – Müller. Between a sparkling Musiala and Bayern’s best player this season, a Coman who is regaining impact and an already well-integrated Cancelo, the Munich club has solid assets, but can remain fragile in defense and penalized by the absence of a real scorer.

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