With the Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich beginning their short U.S. tour tomorrow, German paper SportBild is reporting that coach Pep Guardiola will go with a three-man back line. His preferred lineup leaves off a key contributor to Germany’s World Cup run. It also sees one of the best players from Brazil starting on the bench.
If this report is correct, there is little sense to the lineup that could start in the opening week of the upcoming Bundesliga season.
Bastian Schweinsteiger starts on the bench in the reported lineup. The 3-4-3 formation is centered around aging Philipp Lahm as the holding midfielder. Neither Schweinsteiger or Lahm have a lot of years left, so they may not be the best players to build around in the middle. The midfield is also missing last year’s highly-pursued transfer, Thiago. He dealt with injuries last year, but was in top form down the stretch for Bayern.
Arjen Robben is also not on the field according to SportBild. He is one of many attacking midfielders left on the bench as Franck Ribery and Mario Gotze will find the field first. Robben was arguably the best player at the World Cup, so benching him is a bad idea.
The head-scratching continues as Rafinha is preferred at the hybrid RB/RW position. As Clark Whitney points out, his biggest weakness is defending, yet he would be called upon to do just that. Javi Martinez and David Alaba are part of a largely out-of-position back three. The 3-4-3 would work better with Lahm and Alaba at their natural positions. They are arguably the best in the world at right-back and left-back respectively.
The two-stop tour of the U.S. will not showcase the new formation from Guardiola, with a younger lineup expected despite several youth players and other staffers being denied visas from embassy issues. As it stands right now, Guardiola’s preference is very unconventional.