Bayern Munich are widely expected to win the 2017-18 Bundesliga title and Carlo Ancelotti’s focus should be on winning the Champions League this season.
The Italian head coach made a number of signings over the summer to upgrade his squad after the loss of both Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso.
Here’s who we think make up Ancelotti’s best XI:
GK: Manuel Neuer
There’s no doubt that Bayern Munich have the best goalkeeper in the Bundesliga, if not the world. Manuel Neuer still has several years left in him to win another Champions League medal.
RB: Joshua Kimmich
A great find from Pep Guardiola in the youth team, it was the Spanish coach that gave Joshua Kimmich his first chance at Bayern Munich, pushing Philipp Lahm into a holding midfield role. The 22-year-old is a regular for the German national team now, bombing forward from right-back for both club and country.
CB: Niklas Sule
Had been a rock in the middle of 1899 Hoffenheim’s defence for the past few seasons before finally getting a transfer to a bigger club. Niklas Sule is expected to replace Jerome Boateng to partner Mats Hummels in the middle of the back four. The tall defender offers an attacking threat from set pieces as well as protecting his goalkeeper.
CB: Mats Hummels
The leader at the back and one of the best centre-back’s in the world. Mats Hummels already has a World Cup winners’ medal and is now looking for one in the Champions League having previously lost in the final with Borussia Dortmund against his current club. Javi Martinez is another backup option.
LB: David Alaba
A regular in the starting lineup for a number of seasons now, David Alaba bombs forward from left-back and has the pace to get back quickly. The Austrian first broke into the Bayern first team as a left winger as he possesses good attacking ability – long-range shooting and crossing.
DM: Corentin Tolisso
Bayern Munich splashed more than €40 million on French central midfielder Corentin Tolisso from Lyon this summer. The 23-year-old comes with plenty of experience and offers great protection to his defence as well as getting forward too. He chipped in with a handful of goals and assists in each of his seasons in France. Ancelotti has plenty of options to rotate in this position with Sebastian Rudy and Renato Sanches other options.
DM: Arturo Vidal
The Chilean is an excellent box-to-box midfielder with a powerful shot and whom makes great runs into the box from deep. Arturo Vidal faces competition from the aforementioned Rudy and Sanches for a starting role each week.
RW: Thomas Muller
His least productive season for many years in 2016-17, you can expect Thomas Muller to bounce back. The 2010 World Cup Golden Boot winner and 2014 World Cup winner is one of the best forwards in world football. Muller has excellent positioning, technique and his movement finds him free in the penalty area time after time. Ancelotti also has Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben as options here.
AM: Thiago Alcantara
The Spanish international is one of the best passers of the ball in world football. Thiago Alcantara is great when he plays behind the striker because he creates chances for Robert Lewandowski and the two wide players. James Rodriguez will be pushing for the starting role when fit.
LW: James Rodriguez
Brought in on loan from Real Madrid, James Rodriguez started off as a left winger before playing a number 10 role at Real Madrid when he was in the starting lineup, as he does for Colombia. With Douglas Costa joining Juventus on loan it looks like Rodriguez has been brought in to play out wide rather than in the middle. Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben can also rotate in and out of the team in this position.
ST: Robert Lewandowski
There’s only one player who plays up front for Bayern Munich and it’s Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker has been scoring freely in Germany ever since he joined Borussia Dortmund in 2010. Should Lewandowski be injured or rested, Ancelotti would likely call upon Thomas Muller to play here.