Picking the Best Potential Bayern Munich Lineup to Face Hoffenheim on Friday

Niko Kovac takes charge of his first Bundesliga game as Bayern Munich manager when the German champions welcome Hoffenheim to the Allianz Arena on Friday.


Bayern have won the last six league titles in Germany and they are strong favourites to make it seven this season, despite minimal activity in the summer transfer window.


That means that Friday's lineup will be full of familiar faces. Kovac is unlikely to deviate too much from the side that thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 in the German Super Cup.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Manuel Neuer will make his first Bundesliga appearance since September 2017, having spent most of last season sidelined with a metatarsal injury.


Mats Hummels and Niklas Süle are likely to start together at centre back. Both they and right back Joshua Kimmich are looking to bounce back from a dismal showing at this summer's World Cup with Germany.


David Alaba has shaken off a knee injury to return to full fitness in time for this one.

2. Midfielders

Javi Martinez may continue to hold the fort in defensive midfield, although Sebastian Rudy will challenge him for the role as he did last season. 


In front of him, it is not yet apparent if James Rodriguez will be back in consideration. The Colombian has been strongly linked with a return to Real Madrid all summer and has not yet featured under Kovac due to injury.


The more likely pairing is Thomas Müller and Corentin Tolisso. Both men must maintain their form to keep their places this season as Thiago and new signing Leon Goretzka will be breathing down their necks from the start.

3. Forwards

Robert Lewandowski's consistency is something that only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo can rival. The Pole has netted more than 40 goals in each of his last three seasons for Bayern and shows no signs of letting up this year, having already netted four times in his first two competitive games of the campaign.


Flanking him will be Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Now aged 35 and 34 respectively, these two long-serving stalwarts of the Bayern team could find themselves phased out under Kovac's regime in favour of youth.