Bayern Munich, the reigning champions, will be facing struggling Mainz 05 at MEWA Arena on Saturday as they return to Bundesliga action after the international break.
Despite not being at the top of the table after the first seven matches, Bayern’s opponents, Mainz, have yet to secure a victory in the league this season. While Manuel Neuer has resumed full training, it is unlikely that he will replace deputy Sven Ulreich just yet. The 37-year-old goalkeeper is more likely to be named on the bench.
In terms of injuries, Raphael Guerreiro and Dayot Upamecano are still sidelined for Bayern Munich due to thigh and hamstring issues respectively. Serge Gnabry’s availability is also uncertain as he recovers from an arm injury. However, captain Joshua Kimmich is hopeful of recovering from an illness that forced him to withdraw from German duty.
In Gnabry’s absence, star striker Harry Kane will be supported by Leroy Sane, who has already scored six league goals this season, including four away from home – the most by any player. Kingsley Coman, who has been directly involved in six Bundesliga goals against Mainz, will also provide attacking prowess with his four goals and two assists.
On the other hand, Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel may need to make changes to his defense, particularly regarding Noussair Mazraoui’s recent social media post about the Israel-Gaza conflict. A suspension is expected for Mazraoui, which could lead to Bouna Sarr being called upon at right-back or Konrad Laimer stepping in if necessary.
Mainz has also taken disciplinary action against Anwar El Ghazi for a similar public statement, resulting in an indefinite suspension. In addition to El Ghazi, the home side will be without Jonathan Burkardt and Andreas Hanche-Olsen due to knee and ankle injuries respectively. Maxim Leitsch and Karim Onisiwo are also doubtful for the match.
With Onisiwo likely to miss out, Brajan Gruda is expected to continue as part of Bo Svensson’s forward line after scoring a goal in their previous match against Gladbach.
Mainz 05 vs. Bayern Munich – lineups
Mainz 05 possible starting lineup:
Zentner; Van den Berg, Bell, Fernandes; Da Costa, Barreiro, Kohr, Caci; Lee, Gruda; Ajorque
Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Ulreich; Laimer, Kim, De Ligt, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Coman, Musiala, Sane; Kane