5 Reasons why Bayern Munich is struggling right now
It was only two weeks back that everything was in order at the Saebener Strasse. The German Super Cup had been secured with a thumping 5-0 drubbing of Eintracht Frankfurt.
Comfortable wins were recorded over the likes of Hoffenheim, Stuttgart, Leverkusen and Schalke in the Bundesliga. Benfica were mauled at home in the UEFA Champions League. A seven-game winning streak had ensued.
Bayern Munich were performing to expectations. And then all it took was an equalizer from ex-player Felix Gotze to turn the tides completely.
Since being held by Augsburg in Gameweek five of the Bundesliga, the Bavarians have gone on a winless streak of four games, one which involved a humiliating 0-3 loss at home to Borrusia Monchengladbach last Saturday.
Niko Kovac, who was acclimatizing well to life at the Allianz Arena, now sees reports of him being in the reckoning of a premature boot from the organization.
But what gave way? How did Die Roten's perfect season turn upside down so quickly? What are the reasons behind the Bavarians' lacklustre showing of late? Let's have a look.
#1 Paper-thin squad
When it comes to a fit and firing squad, Bayern Munich have had no respite from lady luck. Time and again the marquee players have been subject to fitness issues during crucial junctures of the season.
This time though, injury troubles have haunted the defending Bundesliga champs right from the get-go.
Kingsley Coman showed a lot of promise during the preseason and it was predicted that he would eventually cement his position in the starting XI over the course of this season.
However, he went down with an ankle injury in the first half of the first game against Hoffenheim, effectively being sidelined until December.
Corentin Tolisso ruptured his ACL and is set to miss most of the season. Further injuries to Rafinha, David Alaba and Leon Goretzka means that the pressure on the already depleted squad is mounting.
The sale of Juan Bernat to Paris Saint-Germain means that the Bavarians currently boast of only one fit full-back in the entire squad.
Bayern's only new arrivals this season included a returning-from-loan player in Serge Gnabry and free transfer joinee in Goretzka. The outbound players tallied to a total of three (Bernat, Arturo Vidal and Sebastian Rudy).
The injuries and thus the subsequent lack of squad depth means that Bayern have to still rely on the old and depleting legs of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, who, at 35 and 34 respectively, aren't setting the world on fire.
In their first UCL tie against Benfica in Lisbon, Die Roten could only name 17 senior squad players for the game.
With all these injuries in place, the Allianz Arena outfit will have to manage with this small set of players for at least this month, before the sidelined players start returning to match fitness. Whether they will be able to hold fort till then or not is a question for another day.