Preussen Munster vs. FC Bayern Munich: How Bayern Will Line Up in DFB Pokal

Clark Whitney@@Mr_BundesligaFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2014

Munich's coach Pep Guardiola watches during the German soccer Super Cup match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Sascha Schuermann)
Sascha Schuermann/Associated Press

Bayern Munich kick off their DFB-Pokal campaign on Sunday as they take on Preussen Munster in Munster.

The Bavarian giants won the domestic double last season and thus enter Sunday's fixture as holders of the trophy.

Bayern's opponents compete in the 3. Liga but will be playing at home. The visitors will be nursing several injuries among players in their ranks, as well as several others who only recently returned to training following the World Cup, so the game should not necessarily be written off as a foregone conclusion.

Ahead of Sunday's clash, here's a look at the lineup Pep Guardiola might use:

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer started in Wednesday's DFL-Superpokal match against Dortmund and looked one of Bayern's best players. Although the German record champions lost 2-0, it could have been much worse if not for the ex-Schalke man. Neuer is the reigning German Footballer of the Year; he'll surely start on Sunday.

Center-Back: Jerome Boateng

On Wednesday, Jerome Boateng made his first start since returning to the Bayern team following the World Cup. He managed to complete the full 90 minutes and will surely be relied upon against Munster, considering that Javi Martinez and Rafinha are both out injured.

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Center-Back: Dante

Dante replaced the injured Martinez in Wednesday's Superpokal match, which should be an indicator that the Brazilian will stand in for his Spanish teammate in Sunday's match. The 30-year-old will add experience to a back line that looked suspect especially before his introduction on Wednesday.

Center-Back: David Alaba

David Alaba missed the World Cup and benefited from a full preseason. He's fit and in form, although still adapting to a role in central defense. Guardiola seems intent on converting the Austrian into a central defender in any case, and the 22-year-old can expect to start on the left of a back three.

Right Midfield: Pierre Hojbjerg

As long as Rafinha is out injured, Pierre Hojbjerg will probably start on the right wing. Philipp Lahm (who will more likely play in central midfield) aside, he's the only real option Bayern have who can play in both attacking and defensive roles on the right wing. In Rafinha's absence, the 19-year-old Hojbjerg has a real chance to make a good impression of himself.

Center Midfield: Philipp Lahm

After 45 minutes of generally poor performance on Wednesday, Philipp Lahm entered the fray for Bayern and the double winners immediately looked more composed in midfield. The captain still has some distance to go in terms of fitness but should expect to start.

Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Center Midfield: Sebastian Rode

Sebastian Rode and Gianluca Gaudino started for Bayern in central midfield throughout the season, but with Lahm soon to return, it looks as though Rode will keep his spot at the expense of the 17-year-old. The new signing from Frankfurt played very well throughout the preseason and was one of the few Bayern players to show some real quality against Dortmund in the Superpokal.

Left Midfield: Juan Bernat

Juan Bernat appears to be first choice on the left of the Bayern midfield even with a full squad available. The Spain under-21 international was hand-picked by Pep Guardiola to join the German giants this summer and has been a constant presence in the starting XI since making his debut.

Right Wing: Thomas Muller

Thomas Muller was the only non-defensive player from Bayern's German contingent to start in the DFL-Superpokal. He only lasted 45 minutes but will have built up more match fitness in the lead-up to Sunday's match. Muller contributed directly to more goals than any other Bayern player last season and won the silver ball and silver boot at the World Cup. He can expect to start.

Center Forward: Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski had a frustrating DFL-Superpokal and will be keen to score his first competitive goal as a Bayern player this Sunday. The striker was brilliant during preseason and has plenty to offer his new club. As one of the few Bayern players to have a full preseason, he'll certainly start against Munster.

Left Wing: Xherdan Shaqiri

With Frank Ribery sidelined, Xherdan Shaqiri is the fittest option available to play on the left wing. Arjen Robben and Mario Goetze are both still working their way back towards fitness; they will probably be ahead of the Switzerland international in the pecking order once at 100 percent, but Shaqiri for the time being has a fitness advantage.

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