Football Features

The defence begins: Three ways Bayern Munich could line up for the 2020/21 season

By Jake Entwistle

Published: 11:40, 24 August 2020

Watch the video at the top of the article to see Squawka’s tactical breakdown of the squad options at Bayern Munich’s disposal ahead of the 2020/21 season.


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Expect Bayern to stick with the line-up that made German football history by winning 21 consecutive games across all competitions, not to mention the Treble. The only change? Leroy Sané.

The temptation to play their new No.10 on the right is strong. Not only would it allow Alphonso Davies to continue to dominate the left flank himself, but it would paint Sané as the Bavarians’ true heir to Mr. Cut-Inside himself, Arjen Robben.

However, Sané is somewhat rare in the modern game in that he is devastating when operating on his orthodox side. One of two Premier League players to post a double-double in both the 2017/18 and 2018/19 season, his output from the left was elite regardless of whether the supporting left-back was tucked in or providing maximum width.

Meanwhile, the other half of Sanabry – wing duo nickname to be confirmed – enjoys the freedom of interchanging with ageless assist machine Thomas Müller in the right half-space. Just like his new partner in crime, Serge Gnabry arguably works best on his strong side. Rather than mimicking the Robbery set up that terrorised Bundesliga full-backs for a decade, this new duo could look more similar to Man City’s Centurion partnership.

There is potential for a near-unstoppable partnership to be developed between the two speed demons on the left while the Gnabry-Müller synergy on the right will leave space for Leon Goretzka to bulldoze past opposition players before arriving late into the box as an additional goal threat. The dominance of the Kimmich-Goretzka double-pivot might even make the potential exit of Thiago Alcântara easier for Bayern to deal with.


Bayern have won eight consecutive Bundesliga titles and with a stacked starting XI of players about to enter their peak, you would not put it past them to double the length of their championship streak.

This front three would be completely fluid. Deploying Serge Gnabry as the false nine – a role he has played for the German national team on occasion – would allow for interchange between the frightening trio while encouraging the Road Runner to join from full-back.

Although a 4-3-3 on paper, given the versatility and quality oozing through the squad, this could quite easily change to a 3-4-3 or ultra-attacking 3-3-4 shape depending on how extreme the Canadian’s forays forward will be.


Just like Bayern, the depth of the reigning World champions is bonkers.

Recent signing Tanguy Nianzou Kouassi is one of the highest-rated defensive prospects in Europe, another drop in the ocean of young French centre-backs commanding the interest of Europe’s elite.

Both Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez were signed a year after Les Bleus triumphed at the World Cup in Russia and would flourish in a three-at-the-back formation.

Corentin Tolisso, another member of the 2018 World Cup-winning squad, would partner Mickaël Cuisance, an Under-21 compatriot with a wand of a left foot, in central midfield.

Kingsley Coman, the man who scored the 2019/20 Champions League-winning goal, is the final Frenchman in a line-up inspired by the nation of never-ending talent.

Sané keeps his place as his father, capped 55 times by Senegal, moved to France at a young age and later served in Germany as part of the French army.

Who knew the FC In FC Bayern stood for French Connection?


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