Bayern Munich’s Secret Defensive Dilemma Revealed!

FC Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich has enjoyed a flawless start to their Bundesliga campaign, winning all three of their matches against Werder Bremen, FC Augsburg, and Borussia Monchengladbach (finally securing the latter victory). Dayot Upamecano has played a pivotal role in Thomas Tuchel’s defensive setup, partnering with new signing Kim Min-jae in the heart of the defense. This duo has been the preferred choice for the central defense.

Matthijs de Ligt, who was recovering from a minor calf issue, recently completed a full 90 minutes in the Netherlands’ 2-1 Euro 2024 qualifying victory against the Republic of Ireland. With this return to match fitness, he could find himself in Tuchel’s starting lineup soon.

Despite Bayern’s perfect record in the Bundesliga, they currently trail behind Bayer Leverkusen in the league table due to Leverkusen’s superior goal difference. Bayern has managed to keep only one clean sheet so far, which occurred in their 4-0 victory over Werder Bremen. This is an area that Upamecano believes Bayern needs to improve upon.

Bayern Munich's Secret Defensive Dilemma Revealed!
LISBON, PORTUGAL – AUGUST 23: Manuel Neuer, captain of FC Bayern Munich lifts the UEFA Champions League Trophy following his team’s victory in the UEFA Champions League Final match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on August 23, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Miguel A. Lopes/Pool via Getty Images)

Upamecano recently expressed his desire for more clean sheets, saying, “As a center-back, I hate it when we don’t keep a clean sheet.” In their wins against Gladbach and FC Augsburg, Bayern conceded a goal in each match. Looking back at the previous season, Bayern had only two clean sheets in their last seven matches across all competitions. These clean sheets came in Bundesliga victories over Hertha Berlin (2-0) and Schalke 04 (6-0), both of which were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga after finishing at the bottom of the Bundesliga standings.

The importance of goal difference at the end of the season cannot be understated, as was evident in the previous season. Bayern clinched the league title by a narrow margin on goal difference, with Borussia Dortmund’s struggles working in their favor. Both teams finished level on 71 points, highlighting the significance of maintaining a solid defensive record throughout the campaign.

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