Bundesliga Matchday 26 Preview

Edwin  - CEO March 15, 2024
Updated 2024/03/15 at 11:18 PM
7 Min Read
Bayern Munich look to maintain their good run of form when they travel to Darmstadt on matchday 26 of the Bundesliga. / Sebastian El-Saqqa - firo sportphoto/GettyImages/Bayern Strikes
Bayern Munich look to maintain their good run of form when they travel to Darmstadt on matchday 26 of the Bundesliga. / Sebastian El-Saqqa - firo sportphoto/GettyImages/Bayern Strikes

Darmstadt vs Bayern Munich



After enjoying one of their best weeks of the season, can Bayern Munich continue the momentum as they travel to bottom side Darmstadt on matchday 26 of the Bundesliga?


Bayern Munich erased any doubts of a Champions League hangover the last time we saw the squad perform. Coming off an impressed 3-0 victory against Lazio in the Champions League Round of 16, Bayern pummeled struggling Mainz at the Allianz Arena on matchday 25 of the Bundesliga. A Harry Kane hat trick and Leon Goretzka brace were enough to keep the momentum for De Roten; Jonathan Britt reports for Bayern Strikes.

While the Bundesliga title chase is all but over for the Bavarians as Bayern Leverkusen look to be likely winners, the squad still have one last shot at a trophy as they remain in the Champions League. Thomas Tuchel seems to have finally found the right combination within his team. The German coach wants to maintain continuity in results and form ahead of big knockout games in the Champions League. While the game against Darmstadt would usually allow Tuchel to rest players, he may instead look for consistency. Let’s look at the Bayern side ahead of their trip to Darmstadt.

Bayern Munich

Any doubt that Manuel Neuer may struggle to return to form after his leg break over a year ago has been put to rest. The German continues to deliver consistent performances every weekend. He will look to keep a clean sheet on Saturday to extend his excellent run of form.

During the last three games, Joshua Kimmich has been solid in the right-back position. He continues to pick out his trademark passes from deep. He is expected to start in the same role against Darmstadt. With all four center backs available to Tuchel, I find it hard to imagine he will change from the Eric Dier-Matthijs de Ligt combination that works so well. Alphonso Davies got the start against Mainz and was taken off after a shot to the face, which caused a trip to the dentist. I expect him to start on Saturday if he is cleared to play.

Tuchel seems to have finally found a midfield pairing that gives him balance on the pitch. Leon Goretzka and soon-to-be German international Aleksandar Pavlovic complement each other in the park’s center. Pavlovic can operate within the midfield and roam, while Goretzka is a makeshift defender, allowing the full-backs to venture forward. I see no reason why Tuchel would break this combination. Thomas Muller should again get the start as he continues to chase down Sepp Maier’s Bayern Munich appearance record.

Leroy Sane has struggled in front of goal and has continued his long goalless drought. While I understand the need to keep momentum, I would love for Tuchel to make a change and give Mathys Tel a start against Darmstadt. However, I don’t see it happening. Jamal Musiala has found a home on the left wing in Kingsley Coman’s absence, and I’m sure we will continue to see the young German thrive there. Harry Kane will undoubtedly lead the attack on Saturday.

Bayern Munich Predicted Starting XI

Kimmich-de Ligt-Dier-Davies


Darmstadt certainly has not found life comfortable in the Bundesliga. After leading Darmstadt to the 2. Bundesliga title just last season, manager Torsten Lieberknecht finds his side sitting bottom of the table, 12 points away from safety. After a humiliating 6-0 defeat at home to Augsburg, Darmstadt players were made to listen to the fans’ concerns. While the result was not as bad, Darmstadt still suffered another defeat last weekend, losing 2-0 to RB Leipzig.

SV Werder Bremen v SV Darmstadt 98 – Bundesliga / Jürgen Fromme – firo sportphoto/GettyImages/Bayern Strikes


Marcel Schuhen should start in goal for Darmstadt, with Christoph Klarer and former Bayern academy player Thomas Isherwood starting in front of him. On the right side of the defense, expect Bartol Franjic to get the start, with Emir Karic starting on the left.

I think Darmstadt will come out with a box midfield. I look for club captain Fabian Holland to start in the defensive midfield position, with Tobias Kempe giving him company in midfield. Gerrit Holtmann and Julian Justvan should start as the two attacking midfielders.

The young Swedish striker Oscar Vilhelmsson should start as the lone center forward, with Tim Starke just behind him. Skarke typically starts upfront when Darmstadt plays a back three and a broader option in the back four. With Darmstadt looking to hurt Bayern on the counter, he plays a free role and drifts into the areas the Bayern full-backs will leave open.

Darmstadt Predicted Starting XI


Score Prediction

Darmstadt 1-3 Bayern Munich (Kane x2; Muller)


Despite Darmstadt’s poor results, they are a team that loves to attack and push numbers forward. I can see them getting a goal, but Bayern Munich is now playing much more confidently, and Tuchel seems to have figured out the ideal system and lineup. Nothing but a comfortable win for Bayern will be one of the biggest upsets of the Bundesliga season.


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