There are three superpowers in European football. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. The three heavyweights have shared the Champions League trophy over the past five years, with no other club lifting the trophy during that period. Despite their dominance in Germany, Bayern have had an unsettling period. Perhaps the best coach in the world Pep Guardiola couldn’t take them to Champions League glory during his three years in charge, and just a month or so into the current season, Carlo Ancelotti was sacked despite strolling to the Bundesliga title during his first season in Germany.
FC Hollywood have opted to bring back experienced coach Jupp Heynckes for a fourth stint in charge of the club, but could you bring a fresh approach and conquer Europe once again with this talented Bayern side?
Of course it’s a 5 out of 5 star rating for Bayern Munich. Their 86 overall consists of 88 attack, 85 midfield and 85 defence ratings.
It wasn’t a case of strengthening their starting line-up over the summer, but making sure Bayern had the depth to fight on all fronts. After all, last season they crashed out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals and suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat to rivals Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup semifinals. With that added depth with some hot young talent, it’s a transitional but also promising season for the German giants.
Bayern currently use a 4-2-3-1, and that is 100% the system you should use. If you prefer runners from midfield rather than a conventional number 10, go for a 4-3-3 and if you want more men up the pitch go for a 4-4-1-1.
Manuel Neuer obviously takes the spot in goal, and he has the solid back four of Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and David Alaba in front of him.
Arturo Vidal and Thiago are in the engine room in defensive midfield, with loan signing James Rodriguez going in his preferred attacking midfield role.
Out wide, you should have veterans Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, whilst the clinical Robert Lewandowski (91 finishing) leads the line.
On the bench you should go for Sven Ulreich (OVR 75), Javi Martinez (86), Juan Bernat (79), Sebastian Rudy (81), Corentin Tolisso (82), Kingsley Coman (80) and Thomas Muller (86).
With Bayern superior to the overwhelming majority of teams they come up against, you'll be forced to play possession football. Look to overthrow your opponents with getting bodies forward, which should open up space for creators James Rodriguez and Thiago.
Look to get the ball out wide and cut inside to shoot or cross with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. Robert Lewandowski won't need many chances to score (91 finishing, 91 positioning), so look to feed him as much as possible.
Your midfield trio of Rodriguez, Thiago and Arturo Vidal can be destructive, with the Colombian Rodriguez able to hit the ball from range (91 long shots) and find passes (86 vision). Powerhouse Vidal can also strike from distance (85 long shots), whereas Thiago can thread balls through (91 short passing, 90 long passing) and beat players (90 dribbling, 90 agility).
Using training sessions is a great opportunity to improve your players, especially those who are not on the team sheet every week. Be sure to use the high growth players to make the most of your time. These include Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso, Niklas Sule, Joshua Kimmich and Juan Bernat.
The transfer market
Starting transfer budget: £82.5 million
Starting wage budget: £338,000
Who should go
It’s a well-balanced squad at Bayern Munich, but a lot of the fringe players have serious question marks around them. They add very little to the side and don’t have the potential to be first team players.
The biggest name that should be shown the door is right back Rafinha. The Brazilian was subject to a late bid from Chelsea on transfer deadline day during the summer, but Bayern didn’t budge. Given his 78 overall on FIFA 18 and the fact his contract is up at the end of the season, you should definitely be shipping the 31-year-old out. Yes, you don’t have many (if any) conventional options at right back, but that can be resolved during the transfer window. Look to gain £4 million from selling Rafinha and save on his £69,000 a week wages.
Timo Starke, Milos Pantovic and Kwasi Okyere Wriedt can all be sold as they are periphery players and you should look to gain a combined £1.5 million for the three of them. An extra £69,000 a week will go to your wage budget once they're sold.
The only obvious candidate to send out on loan is left back Marco Friedl. He will struggle to get game time behind David Alaba and Juan Bernat, so look to hand him to a second division Germany club for the campaign. The 19-year-old’s 63 rating can hit 79, but he'll need a big couple of seasons to prove he can make it at Bayern.
17-year-old Christian Fruchtl is a top talent, but the goalkeeper is currently fourth choice at the Allianz Arena. A season out on loan to a second division Germany club or equivalent may be what he needs to jump-start his career.
Now you have the awkward trio of Niklas Dorsch, Fabian Benko and Felix Gotze. They all have overall ratings between 63 and 61, with all of their potentials being 77. It's a risk to sell all three of them with not a massive squad, but they need to show significant growth to keep them at the club. It’s up to you whether to loan them out or train them up yourself.
Who to sign
Transfer budget after suggested sales: £88 million
Wage budget after suggested sales: £476,000
It’s a healthy budget, with your room for wages looking very healthy. The Bayern lineup is solid from head-to-toe on paper, but there is just one little discrepancy in practice. Joshua Kimmich has immense talented, rated at 82 with a potential of 87, but the 22-year-old isn’t really a right back. The German international would be better utilised in central midfield (where he is rated 83), so you should look to bring in a more conventional pacier (Kimmich’s sprint speed is just 65) right back.
Top of our shopping list is Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi. The 26-year-old will not break the bank at £34.4 million, and at that price you will get his 82 rating and 84 potential. The Italian can also operate as a right winger or central midfield, with his best stats being his 90 stamina, 87 volleys and 87 agility. With his current wages of £64,000 a week, you can do a lot worse with your money than Florenzi.
- Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea, Age 27, OVR 85, POT 87, Cost: £63.5 million, Wage: £141,000
- Dani Carvajal – Real Madrid, Age 25, OVR 84, POT 87, Cost: £59.8 million, Wage: £172,000
- Lukasz Piszczek – Borussia Dortmund, Age 32, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £21.7 million, Wage: £58,000
- Antonio Valencia – Man United, Age 31, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £22 million, Wage: £114,000
- Mario Gaspar – Villarreal, Age 26, OVR 81, POT 84, Cost: £34.5 million, Wage: £33,000
High potential striker
At the moment you only have two striking options, with second-choice Thomas Muller a ‘raumdeuter’ preferring to hang around the fringes than be a focal point. For this reason you need another option in case Muller or Robert Lewandowski get injured, and you'll need to rotate your squad during the season.
Your best bet is Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez. You may not have heard of him but the Racing Club de Avellaneda man has 10 goals in just 18 starts for the club, with the 19-year-old tipped for a big future.
He has a 72 overall rating on FIFA 18, with the potential to reach 88. 83 strength, 79 jumping and 79 sprint speed shows he has a lot to his game, and he can be yours for just £12.2 million. With starting wages of just £8,000 a week, you can’t afford to miss out on the Argentina U20 international Martinez.
- Breel Embolo – Schalke, Age 20, OVR 76, POT 88, Cost: £23.4 million, Wage: £31,000
- Kasper Dolberg – Ajax, Age 19, OVR 77, POT 87, Cost: £19.7 million, Wage: £9,000
- Amath Ndiaye Diedhiou – Girona, Age 20, OVR 74, POT 87, Cost: £27.3 million, Wage: £17,000
- Angel Correa – Atletico Madrid, Age 22, OVR 80, POT 87, Cost: £41.6 million, Wage: £52,000
- Antonio Sanabria – Real Betis, Age 21, OVR 78, POT 86, Cost: £31.4 million, Wage: £20,000
A couple of first team names have contracts expiring at the end of the season, and it's looking likely that Bayern Munich will have to deal without two of their experienced campaigners next season. Wing pairing Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are out of contract next summer, but try your best to keep hold of them for one more year. Their overall ratings may drop, but Kingsley Coman is not yet ready to be a regular starter and there aren’t many other wide options at the club.
Young goalkeeper Christian Fruchtl is a top talent and giving him a new contract should be a priority. The 17-year-old will be ready to step in when Manuel Neuer bows out in four or so years’ time.
Battling for new deals are Sven Ulreich, Niklas Dorsch and Fabian Benko. Ulreich is the back-up to Manuel Neuer in goal, but that duty could be handed to youngster Fruchtl. Whether Ulreich gets a new deal all depends on the development of the promising goalkeeper. As for Dorsch and Benko, things don’t look good, their 77 potentials puts a future at the club in serious doubt. A decision on them should be put off until the last possible moment.
Rafinha, Milos Pantovic and Timo Starke also have deals expiring, but you should cash in and sell all three in the summer transfer window.
As you can imagine, coming second at Bayern Munich just isn’t an option. Your domestic success objective has critical importance, and you'll be asked to win both the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal Cup. A tough ask, but given Bayern’s supreme quality, this is expected every year in Germany.
With a critical continental success goal of a Champions Cup win, things look a lot more tricky. Performing the treble in any country is difficult, and you may have to pray you avoid Barcelona and Real Madrid in the knockout stages to be successful in Europe.
Brand exposure is also marked as critical, and you'll need to earn £176 million through shirt sales during the season. If you bring in big names, score plenty of goals with your star players and maintain good form, this shouldn’t be a problem. Not only that, you will need to collect £150 million through media earnings (competition prize money) within three seasons. You shouldn’t be aiming for anything less than three Bundesliga trophies in as many seasons, so again it shouldn’t be an issue.
Your youth development goal has a medium importance, and you will need to sign a player from the youth academy, and then play them in at least 50% of fixtures in the second season. Make sure you set up youth networks straight away to maximise your chances.
As for your financial goal, you will need to increase the club worth by 10% within three seasons. This low importance objective can be accomplished by maintaining a profit each year, and increasing the worth of young talent.
Back to the top
It may have been five years since no other club has won the Champions League outside of Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid, but the German club have gone four years without the trophy themselves. Their reputation as European heavyweights would be questioned if they don’t put up a fight in the competition this season, whilst they still need to maintain their dominance in Germany.
The period of transition has begun, but can you come out on top? The Allianz Arena is waiting for you.
Full Bayern Munich squad player ratings
|David Alaba||25||LB CB CM||Austria||86||88||£67.6m||£132k|
|Javi Martinez||28||CB CDM||Spain||86||86||£52.3m||£145k|
|Joshua Kimmich||22||RB CM CB CDM||Germany||82||87||£37.2m||£77k|
|Juan Bernat||24||LB LM||Spain||79||83||£20.5m||£71k|
|Felix Gotze||19||CB CDM||Germany||63||77||£1m||£6k|
|Thiago||26||CM CAM CDM||Spain||88||90||£107m||£198k|
|Arjen Robben||33||RM RW||Holland||88||88||£52.3m||£198k|
|Arturo Vidal||30||CDM CM||Chile||87||87||£54.5m||£141k|
|James Rodriguez||25||CAM CM RM||Colombia||86||89||(on loan)||£220k|
|Franck Ribery||34||LM LW||France||85||85||£28.3m||£132k|
|Corentin Tolisso||22||CM CDM||France||82||89||£49.7m||£86k|
|Sebastian Rudy||27||CM CDM RB RM||Germany||81||82||£30.4m||£92k|
|Niklas Dorsch||19||CDM CM||Germany||61||77||£600k||£6k|
|Thomas Muller||27||CF RW CAM ST||Germany||86||86||£69m||£167k|
|Kwasi Okyere Wriedt||22||ST||Ghana||67||72||£900k||£36k|
|Milos Pantovic||20||LW RW CF||Serbia||61||69||£300k||£11k|
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