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Bayern Munich are all set to kick off their pre-season with the 2017 International Champions Cup (ICC) this month in Singapore.
The German champions are scheduled to play Arsenal and AC Milan in China, before travelling to Singapore for the ICC, where they will face Premier League champions Chelsea and Italian side Inter Milan. There are a number of notable absentees from the squad that will be travelling to Asia, with the likes of Manuel Neuer and Arturo Vidal not being included.
Members of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup winning squad Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule and Sebastien Rudy are also missing out. Douglas Costa is set to undergo a medical with Juventus ahead of a loan move and he is not expected to be a part of Bayern’s pre-season.
Robert Lewandowski is included in the travelling party and is certain to feature. Real Madrid superstar James Rodriguez has arrived out of nowhere, on a two-year loan deal, in what looks like a brilliant piece of business by the Bavarians. The deal has been officially announced by Bayern and the player could join them for pre-season.
Here’s how Bayern could take the field in their opening game of their pre-season tour to Asia.
With Manuel Neuer not included in the squad, it is possible that Bayern’s No.2 Tom Starke will man the goal. A chance for 17-year old Christian Fruchtl may come along as the tournament progresses.
With Phillip Lahm retiring and Joshua Kimmich having been given an extended break following Germany’s successful journey in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia, Rafinha is the only right-back available at Ancelotti’s disposal and should play all the games.
One of the centre-back spots is likely to be occupied by Jerome Boateng. The World Cup winner is a trusted lieutenant of Ancelotti’s and is not one to be kept out from the team.
Boateng will be partnered by his compatriot and international teammate Mats Hummels. The former Borussia Dortmund man is regarded as one of the best in the business in his position and will want to start the the season strongly.
With David Alaba’s spot in the line-up unquestionable, Ancelotti might look to give Juan Bernat a chance to impress at left-back going into next season.
Having played as centre-back throughout his Bayern tenure, Martinez may find himself getting moved into a defensive midfield role – a position where he made a name for himself. With Xabi Alonso hanging up his boots, a spot is open for the taking and Ancelotti might look to try the Spaniard out in this position.
Alaba is a contender for a place as well. With Joshua Kimmich and Arturo Vidal not being a part of the travelling party, this is the time to test out the options.
The Frenchman joined Die Roten this summer for a club-record €41.5million from French side Olympique Lyon. Ancelotti will definitely give his new man a run-out to take a closer look at the player ahead of the new season.
The third midfield slot will definitely be taken up by Thiago Alcantara. The Spaniard is the midfield linchpin for Bayern and will look to get going ahead of next season.
The right-flank will most likely be occupied by Kingsley Coman after the German side made his loan move from Juventus a permanent transfe+r. Will be rotated in and out with Arjen Robben.
The usually prolific German had a below par 2016/17 season and has been told to step it up in the next campaign. As a result, Ancelotti may give him more game time ahead of Robert Lewandowski before the season starts.
Though Frank Ribery is available as an option, it is possible that Ancelotti may try out his new signing for the opening game, with the Frenchman featuring later on in the pre-season.