Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann will not decide until shortly before the game which central defenders will face Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski on his return to Munich for their Group C match in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The Polish striker, who scored 344 goals for Bayern in 375 appearances during his eight years at the club, joined the Spanish team in July in a 45 million-euro ($45.63 million) deal.
The second top scorer in Bundesliga history forced his way out of Bayern despite having a contract until 2023.
He criticized the German champion who, according to him, “tried to find an argument to be able to sell me to another club, because before it was difficult to explain perhaps to the fans.”
Bayern, in turn, said the situation had been caused by the player, who asked to leave despite having a contract, before both parties partially repaired their ties.
“I’m sure about a lot of positions, but not yet about central defense,” Nagelsmann told a news conference.
You can choose between Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt and Lucas Hernández, with the latter having a slight advantage.
“Upa has more duels against Lewi in the Bundesliga (when the defender played for RB Leipzig). He always defended well against him, but I haven’t decided yet,” said the coach.
Nagelsmann said that Lewandowski is still at a high level despite his 34 years and expects him to continue scoring an average of 40 goals per season. The striker has six goals in LaLiga in five games with Barça so far this season.
“He’s their most dangerous threat in front of goal. Hopefully he can continue playing at this level for many years. If he stays fit, I’m sure he can play a few more seasons at this level.”
“In recent years he has scored about 40 goals a year. He is on a good path to achieve it this season.
“We have to block passes and crosses to him. But there are also other very good players in that team,” added Nagelsmann.
Bayern, who beat Inter Milan 2-0 away in their Champions League opener last week, have drawn their last three Bundesliga games and slipped to third place.
Saturday’s draw at home against VfB Stuttgart (2-2) was bitter for Bayern, who conceded a penalty equalizer in stoppage time.