German Super Cup: Bayern’s first step without Lewandowski

This Saturday’s Super Cup duel against the 2022 German Cup winner RB Leipzig has become Bayern’s delicate start into a new era.

For the first time since 2014, the newly-formed reigning German champions enter a season without a traditional box-striker after Robert Lewandowski left for Barcelona.

Having to do without the reliable goal supplier delivering around 40 goals every season might open doors to a new-game approach but comes along with an uncertain sportive future as the Bavarian club target the Champions League crown this season.

The club’s ambitions increase the pressure on head coach Julian Nagelsmann as time seems short to get the team into a well-oiled shape, Xinhua reports. New arrivals Sadio Mane and Serge Gnabry are said to get the first try in Bayern’s two-striker attacking line backed by two wingers and a forward-minded midfield.

While the Super Cup title is far from a must for Bayern, a satisfying performance is expected by the club’s leaders such as chairman Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

“Leipzig is one of our main competitors. As last season, first it is important for us to leave a mark and show some strength,” Nagelsmann stated.

While training impressions indicate new arrivals such as Matthijs de Ligt (Juve), Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui (Ajax) and Mathys Tel (Rennais) still need to catch up and get used to their new squad’s tactical style, established forces battle for their starting position.

On top, Bayern is waiting for FIFA’s playing permission for Tel which is expected next week.

Nagelsmann demanded patience with his new players but said a satisfying week of training is behind the side.

The team expressed satisfaction after several days of intense tactical lessons.

Dayot Upamecano seems to have achieved an advantage in the race for the defensive centre besides Lucas Hernandez. Next to the former Leipzig defender, French international and fullback Benjamin Pavard is expected to start instead of Mazraoui.

While Kahn is praising the new team’s internal competition, Pavard is considering a club change and midfielder Marcel Sabitzer is said to be on sale.

The duel against Nagelsmann’s former club is gaining attention as Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer has agreed on a move to Bayern, but both clubs still have to sort out the transfer fee.

While Nagelsmann said he is expecting the Austrian international to play in Leipzig’s shirt in the Super Cup, he reported about a phone call with Tottenham coach Antonio Conte.

“All is good,” the Bayern coach said after he had received criticism from Conte for talking about Harry Kane as a possible Bayern target. Nagelsmann expressed his understanding of the angry reply of Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

The Bayern coach had said he is wondering why Barcelona carries out expensive transfers while reports say the club is short on money. Laporta told Nagelsmann and Bayern to deal with their issues.

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