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Defensive dilemma for the Hamburg game

FC Bayern’s next game is against Hamburg and there might be a problem with the defense. With Daniel van Buyten and Diego Contento injured, Rafinha suspended and Breno unfit; Bayern Munich has only three true defenders available. Barring any injuries, Philipp Lahm, Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng are all sure to start on Saturday. This leaves one problem: who will be the fourth one? We have a few answers, but will any of them provide the team with enough defensive stability come Saturday?

Option 1:

Heynckes could opt to move Boateng back out to the right-back role and pair Luiz Gustavo with Holger Badstuber as center-backs. This would look like (L-R): Lahm-Badstuber-Gustavo-Boateng.

Pros: Gustavo has played as a CB many times last season and is familiar with the role (the same applies to Boateng and the RB role.)

Cons: The desired CB combo of Badstuber-Boateng is disrupted once more, slowing their time to gel. Boateng has failed to combine effectively with Robben down the right flank. Gustavo is much better providing defensive cover from the midfield. Badstuber and Gustavo aren’t very quick, which could be a problem when facing counter-attacks.

Option 2:

Tymoshchuk could play as a center-back with Badstuber; Boateng could again play as a right-back.

This would look like (L-R): Lahm-Badstuber-Tymoshchuk-Boateng

Pros: Tymoshchuk, like Gustavo, is also familiar with the CB role. Badstuber-Tymoshchuk would be a tall CB pairing, giving Bayern an advantage during crosses. Gustavo (if playing) would provide defensive cover from midfield.

Cons: The desired CB combo of Badstuber-Boateng is disrupted once more, again slowing their time to gel. Boateng has failed to combine effectively with Robben down the right flank. Tymoshchuk and Badstuber are slow players. Tymoshchuk impressed less than Gustavo as a CB.

Option 3:

Lahm moves to right-back; Gustavo plays as a left-back.

This would look like (L-R): Gustavo-Badstuber-Boateng-Lahm

Pros: Badstuber-Boateng partnership is continued. Lahm and Robben reunite, which should help boost Robben’s form and our right flank.

Cons: Neither Lahm nor has Gustavo have played at RB and LB this season, respectively.

 Option 4:

Breno center-back; Boateng right-back.

This would look like (L-R): Lahm-Badstuber-Breno-Boateng

Pros: Breno is a natural CB. Lahm, Badstuber and Boateng are familiar with their positions.

Cons: Breno is not match fit. The desired CB combo of Badstuber-Boateng is disrupted once more, slowing their time to gel. Breno hasn’t played with Badstuber since at least last March, Boateng has failed to combine effectively with Robben down the right flank, Breno faster than Tymoshchuk/Gustavo/Badstuber, but still not as fast as Boateng.

One of these four backlines is probably the most likely to appear on Saturday. Personally, I would prefer to see option three. What are your thoughts?

Please discuss and comment in the match thread on the forum!

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Category: Tactics