By Oliver Trust
Distributing the workload ahead of Sunday’s Champions League final against Paris seems the easiest task on Bayern Munich’s plate.
Put simply, the players need to recover while Hansi Flick needs to dive into work.
The Bayern coach’s main issue is finding a convincing starting 11, capable of stopping the French team’s speed in players such such as Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Angel di Maria.
The German’s brilliant figures, 42 goals in a run of ten wins are a thing of the past, considering that Thomas Tuchel’s team has found a way to play with unprecedented team-spirit.
Sunday’s duel might be seen as a close affair. Though, Flick is aware of his side’s weaknesses despite stunning results such as the 8-2 victory over Barcelona and the 3-0 win over Olympic Lyon.
Paris’ gifted front line seems perfect to do what Barca and Lyon couldn’t, cut through the reigning German Champions’ back-row with speedy passing.
“We won’t rest on our laurels. We will recover, and then we will rock the pitch again,” Joshua Kimmich commented.
While Bayern’s left side with Alphonso Davies and David Alaba seems well prepared for quick opponents, their counterparts, Jerome Boateng and Joshua Kimmich, on the right lack speed.
Flick’s options seem apparent. Move Kimmich back to midfield next to Leon Goretzka and pick 2018 World Champion Benjamin Pavard as a fullback.
Considering that, the departing Thiago Alcantara is in danger of losing his place in the starting lineup of a Champions League final, just as he did in 2011.
Speed and determination seem decisive factors in Sunday’s battle.
French winger Kingsley Coman could turn up as a suitable solution down the left flank in place of Ivan Perisic
What could make Flick feel optimistic is his team’s reaction. They have remained low-key since the semi-final.
“There still is an important job to do,” Kimmich stated.
Flick might face his biggest challenge to date, adding the latest chapter to a stunning season after taking over the job last November.
Since then Bayern’s back-row has been playing 10 to 15 meters in front of their own box, leaving space behind for quick opponents.
In contrast to Barca and Lyon, Paris can count on a midfield resistant to pressing, always able to find solutions beyond a long ball.
For this reason, Flick complained about too many ball losses and the space behind the back-line, “we didn’t keep under surveillance as we should have.”
Against Lyon, Bayern too often appeared unorganized when having to switch from attack to defense.
In their attempt to beat Paris and repeat the club’s 2013 triumph might be a case of finding the perfect balance.
After all, Bayern’s strikers such as Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry and Thomas Mueller seem to be at the same level as their Paris counterparts.