By 90Min
March 01, 2019

Bayern Munch travel to Monchengladbach on Saturday for a potentially watershed moment in the Bundesliga title race. After a disappointing first half of the season, the reigning champions have clawed away at Dortmund's once nine point lead and now trail their rivals by just three points.

With a tricky fixture away to third place Borussia Monchengladbach at their doorstep, Bayern Munich have the opportunity to lay down a marker with the season reaching its climactic period.

With the pressure well and truly on, here's how Niko Kovac could send his Bayern team out on Saturday.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

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Manuel Neuer (GK)

Quietly questions have started to be asked about Neuer's form, with many in Germany believing that he should surrender the national team gloves to Barcelona 'keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Injuries and a struggling back-line have not helped Neuer, but for now, he still remains the undisputed Bayern number one and will captain his team on Saturday.

Joshua Kimmich (RB)

Still just 24 years old, Kimmich has become a mainstay at right-back for both Bayern Munich and Germany, amassing 102 Bundesliga appearances to date. The man who has drawn comparisons to the great Philipp Lahm has played in all 23 Bundesliga matches this season, notching an impressive ten assists.

Niklas Sule (CB)

After arriving at the Allianz Arena in the summer of 2017, Sule has flourished at the heart of Bayern's defence. Signed from Hoffenheim for a sliver under £20m, the centre-back clearly still has learning to do, but his 21 Bundesliga appearances this season have made him a regular under Niko Kovac, at the expense of either Jerome Boateng or Mats Hummels.

Mats Hummels (CB)

The defensive lynchpin of Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund team that won the Bundesliga twice between 2010 and 2012, Hummels shocked the football world by returning to the club of his youth in 2016. Two seasons and five trophies later, Hummels has more than vindicated his controversial decision, although 2018 has been a year of tribulations for Bayern's number five. In and out of the side through the first half of the season, Hummels has seen his place restored by Niko Kovac as he looks to replicate the form that made him one of the world's best centre-backs.

David Alaba (LB)

Bayern's personal Swiss army knife, the Austrian can truly do it all and has established himself as one of the first names on Kovac's team sheet, appearing in all 23 Bundesliga matches this season. Capable of playing anywhere across the back-line or in midfield, Alaba has already piled up 213 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern at the age of 26, and should only improve as he enters his prime.


Midfielders

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Javi Martinez (CM)

Bayern beat out a host of the world's elite clubs and broke their transfer record in 2012 to sign Martinez from Athletic Bilbao, splashing £34m on the talented defensive midfielder. Martinez's Bayern career has been fraught with injury, but he has still managed 124 Bundesliga appearances for the club, including 15 this season. Not always a consistent starter under Kovac, in part due to the sheer wealth of talent in Bayern's engine-room, the Spaniard's midfield bite could be crucial for Bayern down the stretch.

Thiago Alcantara (CM)

Another supremely talented midfielder who has seen his Bayern career plagued by injury, Thiago has managed to remain fit this season, playing 19 times in the Bundesliga. Raised in Barcelona's famous La Masia, Thiago was long thought of as the heir to Xavi, but the 27-year old forged his own path by following Pep Guardiola to Bayern in 2013, where he has made a total of 115 Bundesliga appearances.

James Rodriguez (AM)

A stunning performance at the 2014 World Cup earned the Colombian a £63m move to  Real Madrid, but it is fair to say that things in the Spanish capital didn't quite work out. An inconsistent three seasons for Los Blancos led to a two-year loan deal at Bayern, where the attacker's frustrating brilliance continues to divide supporters. Unplayable on his day, there is an argument that his day does not arrive frequently enough.


3. Forwards

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Serge Gnabry (RW)

After spending five years at Arsenal, Gnabry became the original 'Jadon Sancho' by leaving the benches of the Premier League for a starting berth in the Bundesliga. It has turned out to be a fantastic decision, and after receiving his football education with brief spells at Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim, the winger has proven that he is ready to be a Bayern player, scoring five times in 20 Bundesliga matches this season.


Robert Lewandowski (ST)

The three-time Bundesliga golden boot winner has been the focal point of six Bundesliga triumphs; two at Dortmund and four at Bayern. 119 goals in 148 Bundesliga matches for Bayern paint an accurate portrayal of the Pole as one of the greatest goalscorers of his generation. The 30-year old has slowed down just a bit this season but has still supplied Niko Kovac with 13 goals and nine assists, while being one of the first names on the team sheet.

Franck Ribery (LW)

The 35-year old Ribery is on borrowed time at Bayern, but he will undeniably go down as a legend when his departure is confirmed at this season's close. A crucial component of eight Bundesliga titles, the Frenchman will be hoping to add a ninth to his tally before he heads out the Allianz door. Still extremely capable, Ribery has made 17 Bundesliga appearances and will be hoping to provide at least one more vintage moment in red and white.

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