Football Manager 2018: Bayern Munich Guide, Player Ratings & Tactics

One of the strongest sides in Europe, but after a rocky patch there is still plenty to work on at German champs Bayern Munich.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

With five Bundesliga titles on the bounce, Bayern Munich are amongst the strongest teams in Europe. The German champions are one of only three teams to have won the Champions League in the past five seasons, but there has been a sense this year that all is not well at the Allianz Arena. Carlo Ancelotti was sacked after a worrying start to the season, but with Jupp Heynckes stepping in for a fourth spell in charge of the club, Die Roten are back on track and leading the Bundesliga once more.

With Heynckes only temporarily in charge, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to take the hot seat in Munich on Football Manager 2018, and take charge of a fantastic squad who know how to win. Bayern’s quality and healthy finances make them a suitable club for first time Football Manager players.

Philosophies

After setting up your game with Bayern Munich, you will be welcomed to the club by Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and he’ll present to you the club’s philosophies. These are to play possession football and develop players using the club’s youth system.

Expectations

You will then be issued with the expectations for the season. These are to win the German First Division, win the German Cup and to reach the semifinals of the European Champions Cup. Only your Champions Cup objective can be tweaked, with targeting the final giving you an extra £2.5 million to your transfer budget.

Budget

Transfer budget: £44.6 million

Wage budget: £3.6 million per week (Current use: £3.4 million)

Formation

There are a couple of options with the formations, with your best bet being a conventional 4-2-3-1 wide system. If you want more bodies in midfield go for a 4-1-2-3 formation.

With Manuel Neuer out injured, Sven Ulreich goes in between the sticks and in front of him he has Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and David Alaba

Arturo Vidal and Thiago Alcantara are in the engine room in midfield, with James Rodriguez playing as an attacking midfielder. The experienced duo of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery provide the width, and Robert Lewandowski leads the lines.

On the bench go for Christian Fruchtl, Niklas Sule, Juan Bernat, Javi Martinez, Corentin Tolisso, Kingsley Coman and Thomas Muller. 

Tactics

Bayern are most comfortable with a standard mentality and flexible shape. Look to alter this depending on your opponent, and you should look to go for a control mentality against the smaller teams in Germany.

Try to get as many green lights on the pitch as possible, as these show how comfortable a player is in their position, role and duty. Be careful to not have multiple players in the same role, as this could leave areas of the pitch unguarded (marked by a red analysis zone) and they could get in the way of each other in attacking situations.

Key Players

Bayern have such a strong squad, and selecting their three most important players is not an easy task.

Robert Lewandowski – CA 4.5 star (178), PA 4.5 star (178)

Arguably the best conventional number nine in the world. Robert Lewandowski’s statistics are incredible. The Polish striker has 128 goals in 166 games since arriving at Bayern from Borussia Dortmund in 2014, lifting the Bundesliga trophy every year since. 

On FM 18, Lewandowski’s 178 current ability score has reached its potential and includes 20 balance, 19 stamina and 18 first touch. If you are to have any chance of lifting the Champions Cup this season, you will need the 28-year-old Lewandowski firing on all cylinders. 

Manuel Neuer – CA 4.5 star (190), PA 4.5 star (193)

You will be without the best goalkeeper and fourth best player in the world Manuel Neuer at the start of the season, with the Bayern captain ruled out until the end of August with a broken foot. In real life, the 31-year-old has aggravated that injury, and will be out until the new year, so be sure to look after the ‘keeper. 

20 throwing, 20 anticipation and 19 command of area contribute to Neuer’s 190 CA rating, which can still rise to an incredible 193. With Neuer back in your side within a month of the season, you can challenge for all silverware with Bayern.

Jerome Boateng – CA 4 star (175), PA 4 star (175)

From the best goalkeeper in the game to the best centre back. Jerome Boateng is one of the toughest opponents in the world, with the German international coming on leaps and bounds during his tenure at Bayern. With five Bundesligas, three German Cups, a Champions League, a Club World Cup and a World Cup, the defender has won it all, an outrageous achievement at the age of 28.

On the game, Boateng has a 175 CA which matches his potential, so he is at the peak of his powers. 18 strength, 18 pace, 18 marking and 18 tackling are fantastic stats, and with still five seasons at the top left, the former Manchester City man will be the cornerstone of your defence.

Young talent

The likes of Franz Beckenbauer, Phillip Lahm, Mats Hummels, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and David Alaba all came through the Bayern Munich Junior Team to play for the seniors, but it has been about six years before a youngster broke through to play for the first team. Can you nurture any of the following youngsters to become Bayern stars?

Christian Fruchtl – CA 1.5 star (106), PA 4-5 star (150-180)

With Manuel Neuer at the age of 31, it could be a perfect transition in five or six years time, when current 17-year-old Christian Fruchtl steps into the first team. The young goalkeeper is highly regarded by the club, and three clean sheets in nine games for Bayern II is a steady start for Fruchtl.

The German U18 international has 15 agility, 15 jumping reach and 14 throwing to help out his 106 CA rating. His potential can hit anything between 150 and 180, so like Neuer, Fruchtl has the capacity to become one of the best goalies in the world.

Oliver Batista Meier – CA 1.5 star (95), PA 4-5 star (140-170)

Winger Olive Batista Meier made a name for himself last season, smashing in 16 goals and seven assists in just 11 games for one of Bayern’s youth teams. At the age of 16 it may be a while before Batista Meier gets a shot in the first team, but be sure to monitor his progress over the next couple of seasons.

Batista Meier has a promising 95 CA score, with the potential to reach anything between 140 and 170. His attributes of 14 acceleration, 13 dribbling and 13 agility may not look much, but just watch them grow as the youngster develops.

Timothy Tillman – CA 1.5 star (108), PA 1.5-2.5 star (130-160)

Don’t be fooled by Timothy Tillman’s low PA star rating, as the left winger can go on to become one of the best in his position in Europe. The 18-year-old Tillman made the squad for a German Cup game earlier this season, so a full Bayern debut could be on the cards. Four goals and three assists in the 17 games for Bayern II is a promising start to the campaign, but if he is to be success at the club, the Germany U19 international will need to take it up a notch.

Tillman’s 108 CA contains 15 technique, 15 agility and 14 vision. With a potential between 130 and 160 it is up in the air whether he has a future at Bayern, so perhaps send him out on loan for valuable first team action.

Team Report

Strengths Weaknesses
Decisions Goalkeeper Depth
Coaching Staff Attack Depth
Scouting Staff Overall Depth
First Touch Youth Prospects
Passing
Leadership
Star Defenders – Jerome Boateng, David Alaba
Star Goalkeeper – Manuel Neuer
Defence Depth
Strength
Teamwork
Transfer Budget
Wage Budget
Work Rate

Dynamics

Team Leaders – Manuel Neuer (C), Thomas Muller (vice-captain), Franck Ribery

Highly influential – Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels, David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez, Rafinha, Thiago

Dynamics is the most prominent new feature for Football Manager 2018, and it reflects the atmosphere in the dressing room and training ground. The dynamics tab will show you the social groups in the squad, and which players have the most influence over their peers. 

So be careful with your words with certain players, as the more influential they are, there will be a greater knock-on effect on the rest of the squad. 

Transfer targets

It’s a very strong squad at Bayern Munich, but there is a lack of depth in certain areas. One or two signings can take this side for European contenders to European favourites.

Striker – Breel Embolo (CA 138, PA 150-180)

With Robert Lewandowski the only conventional striker in the first team, you will be in big trouble if the Pole gets injured. Fellow Bundesliga striker Breel Embolo could be the answer, with the Swiss international one of the most talented forwards in Europe. The Schalke man has struggled since a fractured ankle in October 2016, but he has the ingredients to unsettle defenders

The striker or right winger has a 138 current ability score on FM 18, with his potential taking him somewhere between 150 and 180. You will need around £35 million for Embolo’s 17 pace, 17 balance and 15 movement, with his current wages £69,000 a week. 

Alternative options:

  • Andrea Belotti – Age 23, Torino, Italy, CA 157, PA 170, Value: £38m, Wage: £48k
  • Patrik Schick – Age 21, Roma*, Czech Rep, CA 140, 168, Value: £12m, Wage: £13k
  • Andre Silva – Age 21, AC Milan, Portugal, CA 147, PA 167, Value: £18m, Wage: £63k
  • Timo Werner – Age 21, RB Leipzig, Germany, CA 146, PA 165, Value: £18m, Wage: £34k

*Currently on loan at Sampdoria

Players to sell

With the first team squad so strong, there are very few players who don’t make the grade at the club.

Okyere Wriedt

The only man we think you can get rid of is striker Okyere Wriedt. With you likely to bring in a striker during the summer transfer window, the 23-year-old’s chance of playing time disappears. Wriedt’s 110 CA and 120 PA show that he is just making up the numbers in the Bayern squad, so try to sell the 23-year-old for around £1.3 million and make a saving on his £4,000 a week wages.

Finances

At large, Bayern Munich’s wages look in good health. The overall bank balance is on the rise, but interestingly, after an initial increase, the club turnover will drop halfway through 2018. Expenditure increases and the club’s profit will turn to loss in the summer of 2018, but the good news is that your transfer budget will continue over the next year.

Cement a legacy

With six Bundesligas, three German Cups and a Champions League title this decade alone, Bayern are of course one of the strongest teams in Europe. But they have lost a little bit ground to Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, with the pair sharing the last four European crowns. 

Another continental success would put Bayern firmly back in the mix, and that may be a step too far this season, but going ahead that has to be your focus. Pep Guardiola couldn’t achieve that goal during his tenure in charge, but can you be the one to take FC Hollywood back to the top?

Bayern Munich first team squad, player roles and ratings

Player Age Pos Role Duty Role Ability CA/
PA
Starting Lineup
Sven Ulreich 28 GK Goalkeeper Defend 2 star 132/
135
Joshua Kimmich 22 DR Wing-Back Defend 3 star 151/
169
Jerome Boateng 28 DCR Ball Playing Defender Defend 4 star 175/
175
Mats Hummels 28 DCL Ball Playing Defender Defend 4 star 171/
171
David Alaba 25 DL Full-Back Attack 4 star 170/
174
Arturo Vidal 30 MCR Box To Box Midfielder Support 4 star 167/
176
Thiago 26 MCL Deep Lying/
Advanced Playmaker
Support 4 star 168/
173
Arjen Robben 33 AMR Inside Forward Attack/
Support
4 star 169/
180
James Rodriguez 26 AMC Advanced Playmaker Support 3.5 star 166/
172
Franck Ribery 34 AML Inside Forward Support/
Attack
3 star 158/
178
Robert Lewandowski 28 STC Complete Forward Attack 4.5 star 178/
178
Substitutes
Christian Fruchtl 17 GK Sweeper Keeper Attack 1.5 star 145/
151
Niklas Sule 21 D (C) Defensive Centre Back Any 2.5 star 146/
168
Juan Bernat 24 D (L)
WB (L)
M (L)
AM (L)
Full-Back Attack 3 star 149/
161
Javi Martinez 29 D (C)
DM
M (C)
Anchor Man Defend 3 star 162/
165
Sebastian Rudy 27 D (R)
WB (R)
DM
M (C)
Deep Lying Playmaker Defend 3 star 150/
150
Corentin Tolisso 22 DM
M (C)
AM (C)
Box To Box Midfielder Support 3 star 152/
165
Kingsley Coman 21 M (RL)
AM (RLC)
Winger Support 3 star 153/
171
Reserves
Marco Friedl 19 D (LC)
WB (L)
Defensive/ Full-Back Defend/
Support
2 star 112/
>120
Rafinha 31 D (RL)
WB (RL)
Full-Back Attack 2.5 star 145/
151
Timothy Tillman 18 M (L)
AM (LC)
Inside Forward Support 1.5 star 108/
>130
Okyere Wriedt 23 ST (C) False Nine Support 2 star 110/
120
Thomas Muller 27 ST
AM (CR)
M (R)
Raumdeuter Attack 3.5 star 165/
168
Injured
Manuel Neuer 31 GK Sweeper Keeper Attack 4.5 star 190/
193

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020

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