Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann seems to have found his replacement for the suspended Benjamin Pavard as we are about to enter the week of the second-leg clash between Bayern and PSG in the Champions League. At a press conference, the German coach mentioned the name of the young replacement who will be the one trying to stop Kylian Mbappe.
The name of the kid facing that little task? Croatian Josip Stanisic.
A few days before the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16, and the reverse game between Bayern and PSG, it is logical for both coaches to still have doubts about their line-ups. After their victory in the first leg (1-0), the Munich-based team took the lead in the matchup with the Parisian but will now have to deal with an important absence: the one of right-back Benjamin Pavard.
Sent off in the first leg, the defender will not be in Bayern's squad to face PSG next Wednesday, which is a problem for Nagelsmann if he wants to use the same formation and field a three-man defense as in the first game in Paris.
In the absence of the France international, everything points toward young Josip Stanisic (22 years old) entering the equation in replacement of the veteran Pavard. Stanisic can play both right-back and right center-back in a line of three defenders flanked by two wing-backs.
After entering the last minutes of the game at the Parc des Princes, Stanisic started Bayern's last Bundesliga match against Union Berlin (3-0) and the Croatia international made a good impression as a right-back in a four-man defense.
Julian Nagelsmann: "We have an idea of how we want to play against PSG"
Julian Nagelsmann told media members attending a press conference on Friday that he wanted to make adjustments before the game against Paris: “We have an idea of how we want to play against PSG. Defensive adjustments will have to be made. We want to test them this Saturday against Stuttgart.”
Possessing much greater defensive rigor than his competitor in this position, Joao Cancelo, the 22-year-old Croatian defender is a solid option to contain the threat generated by Kylian Mbappe in leading the Paris Saint-Germain attack.
Mbappe and Stanisic previously met in a UEFA Nations League match between France and Croatia, which ended in a 1-0 victory for the Croats.
The young Croat had himself a day back then on the international stage when facing Mbappe thanks to his numerous interventions on the World Cup winner, a nice antecedent that Nagelsmann must be seriously studying.