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Julian Nagelsmann, as we suggested he might do, has eased into his role at Bayern Munich by deploying the same formation as his predecessor – Hansi Flick.

Nagelsmann’s 4-2-3-1 looks very similar in application to Flick’s, both in functionality and personnel.

There are a few notable changes to the lineup under the new boss however, including Dayot Upamecano coming in for the Real Madrid departed David Alaba, after the Frenchman followed Nagelsmann’s footsteps from Leipzig to Bayern.

With Boateng out of the club, Lucas Hernandez has also played an important role this season ahead of Niklas Sule.

Most importantly of all, Nagelsmann has completely reinstalled faith in Leroy Sane.

Sane has been one of the key men in the Bayern team this year, fulfilling the promise many thought he could realistically reach years ago at City.

Kingsley Coman’s dropped out of the team as a result, finding it difficult to enter the frame this season.

But other than that, things have been pretty standard for Nagelsmann in his 4-2-3-1, as he eases into life at the Allianz.

In the future, Nagelsmann may experiment more with a 3-4-2-1, as they did against Greuther Furth, but that will likely require the team having a more natural right-wing-back.

So for the time being, 4-2-3-1 is the shape. But in truth, it rarely ever looks like 4-2-3-1. While it’s true that this is Bayern’s most common defensive shape, it is also true that they rarely have to defend in their matches.

Instead, they spend much of their time playing what resembles more of a 3-1-5-1, with players roaming around the attack and looking to receive in between the lines of the opposition.

Nagelsmann’s Bayern operate under a high amount of positional freedom, fluctuation and rotation.

This benefits a player with the adeptness of Thomas Muller as already mentioned, but also makes life incredibly difficult for the opposition in trying to stop everyone else.

Regardless of who is out wide and who is inside, Bayern will often guide their attacks to the wide areas with players like Sane and Davies or Muller and Gnabry in close proximity to make magic happen.

We then see an array of overlapping and underlapping runs around the player with the ball, as Bayern step up their speed of play and look to progress vertically (but also diagonally) into the penalty area for an on-rushing attacker.

With a player like Goretzka making an underlapping run at the same time Muller overlaps Gnabry, it becomes impossible to track Bayern and their exceptional movement off the ball.

That’s because movement from one player almost always opens up space for another to receive, as the initial player’s movement draws defenders away.

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