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Bayern Munich have had a tough time in the past month or so, having to deal with heavy criticism both on and off the pitch. They lost their previous league game 2-0 to Hoffenheim and will be hosting Mainz 05 at the Allianz Arena.
The Bavarians won their midweek Champions League fixture against Anderlecht by a 3-0 scoreline, which should give them some confidence. However, demands to have Robert Lewandowski sold, Thomas Muller’s unhappiness and Carlo Ancelotti’s supposed departure in January is likely to affect their performance. David Alaba and Juan Bernat are injured and they will not play for sure. However, all other players are ready for the match.
Mainz have lost two of their 3 games, but they won their previous match convincingly, and will be looking to inflict pain on the German giants.
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
Neuer has not been in the best of form in the opening few weeks of the new season and he will be eager to change that in the game against Mainz. His performance will be crucial in Bayern securing all three points from the game.
Right Back: Joshua Kimmich
Kimmich has shown great maturity on the pitch which makes it hard to believe that he is only 22 years old. His showing against Anderlecht guarantees him a start against Mainz.
Central Defence: Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels
Boateng has finally recovered and is match-fit once again, so he might be in a position to start ahead of Sule. The ever-reliable Hummels, who was rested against Anderlecht should accompany him at the heart of the Bayern defence.
Left back: Rafinha
Rafinha will start on the left-hand side of the defence once again as he looks to cement his spot there. Ancelotti will be expecting a lot more from the Brazilian in an attacking perspective.
Central Midfield: Thiago Alcantara and Arturo Vidal
It is likely that Ancelotti might rest Corentin Tolisso and start Thiago and Vidal. The Spaniard has been in exceptional form this season, but the Chilean is yet to display his usual dominance. The Bayern faithful will be hoping that he can do that in this game.
Right Wing: Arjen Robben
33 years old and he still gets past his opponent with as much ease as he did 10 years back, that’s Arjen Robben for you. He is yet to register a goal or an assist this season, and he might have just earmarked the game against Mainz to get off the charts.
Attacking Midfield: James Rodriguez
James made his first Bayern Munich start in the midweek win over Anderlecht and he is likely to feature from the start once again. It seems Ancelotti does not trust Thomas Muller enough, so the Colombian will get the opportunity to impress the fans with his skills.
Left Wing: Franck Ribery
Another Bayern player who will be looking to kickstart his season is Ribery. The Frenchman has just 1 goal in 7 appearances this season so he will be eager to contribute heavily to Bayern’s attack.
Striker: Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski has been critical about the club’s transfer policies which have led to some fans questioning his commitment. However, his form on the pitch has been nothing short of spectacular. With three goals in as many appearances, he will be eager to add to his tally.