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.
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.
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.
Transfer budget: £44.6 million
Wage budget: £3.6 million per week (Current use: £3.4 million)
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Coaching Staff||Attack Depth|
|Scouting Staff||Overall Depth|
|First Touch||Youth Prospects|
|Star Defenders - Jerome Boateng, David Alaba|
|Star Goalkeeper - Manuel Neuer|
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Manuel Neuer||31||GK||Sweeper Keeper||Attack||4.5 star||190/ 193|
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