After completing their first ever treble in impressive fashion by defeating Barcelona in a 7-0 aggregate scoreline and demolishing records in the Bundesliga, it is safe to assume that all Bayern Munich fans will be eager for the new season to commence.
Currently, with the overwhelming talents of Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara having joined the Bayern ranks, Pep Guardiola could face a possible impasse in selecting a consistent squad. With Mario Gomez having already left to Fiorentina the number of formations that Bayern could use has already reduced.
Keeping in mind that Guardiola has already admitted that Javi Martinez “could play centre back”, we have more of an idea of how their play would be.
We also need to remember that the current side will be remembered as a “Jupp Heynckes’ team” and Guardiola could possibly be making radical changes to transform them into “Pep’s team”.
4-4-1-1 Formation (Last season’s tactic)
This formation contains the regular Bayern defensive setup, except Javi Martinez partnering Dante in the centre, while Philipp Lahm and David Alaba are full-backs.
The middle has Bastian Schweinsteiger along with Thiago playing as holding midfielders and Kroos ahead of them, as the attacking midfielder.
Meanwhile, Ribery and Gotze will play on the wings to provide creativity on the flanks, leaving Thomas Muller to play the lone forward role.
This choice of formation is quite safe, but Guardiola will be looking to stamp his own authority and image on the squad and will try to move away from the Heynckes' type of play.
4-1-2-3 Formation (Tiki-taka)
This is the classical Barcelona formation, with two attacking midfielders let loose to attack the opposition. Through this formation Guardiola may be able to establish a new identity for this Bayern side.
It consists of all aforementioned players but with Thiago being on equal par with Kroos. This may allow the duo to recreate a Xavi-Iniesta combination in the middle of the park and enhance the smooth circulation of the ball.
However, with this formation it risks alienating Schweinsteiger by “shackling” his abilities by limiting him to an anchor role, one that could be played much better by Javi Martinez. Perhaps Ribery could play as “False 9” (as experimented in a recent friendly) while Muller could be on the wings.
3-1-2-1-3 Formation (Total Football)
This is a formation Guardiola used in his last season as Barcelona manager which did not prove to be as successful as the 4-1-2-3. However, this Bayern side with its overwhelming talent might prove to be up to the task.
The defence will be slightly disjointed with Lahm on the right side, Dante in the middle and Boateng on the left. Although Lahm is clearly not a centre-back, he might not have too much defending to do, as this Bayern side will probably attempt to play tiki-taka-esque football.
Martinez will sit deep in front of the defence with Schweinsteiger and Thiago as the double pivot. Kroos will be behind a front three of RIbery- Mandzukic-Gotze.
Muller is left out because a powerful forward may be the alteration to get this formation to be a success while there is simply no room for Alaba or Robben.
4-1-3-1-1 Formation (Diamond)
This is the last possible formation that Guardiola could apply to his new Bayern squad and this works by including the 'forgotten' new signing Jan Kirchkoff into the defence to partner Boateng. Lahm and Alaba on the flanks as usual, Martinez as the anchor man while Thiago, Kroos and Schweinsteiger play in midfield diamond.
Finally, Gotze plays behind Muller in attack, which ultimately omits Ribery from the line up. Another fault with this formation is that it lacks width; a tactic Guardiola has always previously employed which makes it more unlikely.
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