Bayern Munich would be looking to get off to a good start next season, as they bid for domestic as well as European glory.
The retirements of Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm have left the Bavarians short on experience in the midfield and defence, which they have tried to address with the additions of James Rodríguez, Corentin Tolisso, Sebastian Rudy, Niklas Süle and Serge Gnabry.
And here’s how they might line-up for the 2017-18 season,
4 – 2 – 3 – 1 : Neuer ; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba ; Vidal, Thiago ; Robben, Rodríguez, Coman/Müller ; Lewandowski
The most likely formation that Carlo Ancelotti would employ is 4-2-3-1. Manuel Neuer is an automatic choice in goal as he falls in the category of the best goalkeepers in the world.
The central defence will be marshalled by the ever reliable pairing of Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, with Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba providing the cover on the right and left of defence respectively.
Thiago and Vidal would be the obvious in the middle of the park; with Thiago’s calmness and vision complementing the tenacious and aggressive Chilean.
Further forward, the trio of Arjen Robben on the right, James Rodríguez in the middle and Kingsley Coman/Thomas Müller on the left would be providing able assistance to the lone striker Robert Lewandowski.
Robben would be trying to cut inside to his favourite left foot, while Coman would be providing the width on the left flank.
This could allow overlapping runs from Joshua Kimmich, aiding crosses into the box for Lewandowski to bury.
4 – 3 – 3 : Neuer ; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba ; Vidal, Rudy, Thiago ; Robben, Lewandowski, Rodríguez
An alternative to the above mentioned one would be the 4-3-3. The goalkeeper and the defence remains the same.
But in midfield, Sebastian Rudy comes in to partner Arturo Vidal and Thiago Alcântara, with the ex-Hoffenheim man providing the steel in that department.
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Up front, Robben would take the right flank and do what he usually does best by cutting in while Rodríguez would be providing the width on the left.
Lewandowski would be the entitled with the task of smashing in the goals.
4 – 4 – 2 : Neuer ; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba ; Rodríguez, Vidal, Thiago, Robben ; Lewandowski, Müller
Bayern could also try out the traditional 4-4-2, without making any alterations to the backline.
The four in midfield, comprising of Rodríguez on the right, Vidal and Thiago in the middle and Robben on the left would be doing the bulk of creative play.
The task of finishing off the chances would be on the shoulders of proven finisher Lewandowski and the man known for being at the right place at the right time, Thomas Müller.
3 – 4 – 2 – 1 : Neuer ; Boateng, Süle, Hummels ; Kimmich, Vidal, Thiago, Alaba; Rodríguez, Müller ; Lewandowski
The major change with this formation is at the back, with Niklas Süle providing additional protection alongside probably the best centre back pairing of Hummels and Boateng.
Kimmich and Alaba would operate as the wing backs, fully entrusted with the task of covering the flanks while attacking as well as defending.
Vidal and Thiago would be guarding the centre of the park, with both Rodríguez and Müller tucking in behind Robert Lewandowski up front.
This formation would enable the team to play much more through the middle as both the trio in the forward line can compress a bit due to the presence of the marauding wing backs.
The squad depth ensures the fact that irrespective of the formation that Bayern employ, there would be tough be competition for each and every spot in the starting 11.