Alternative 1: Kroos steps back into Schweinsteiger’s spot, Müller rotates to the center, Alaba plays the right wing.
Advantage: Both Kroos and Müller have occupied these roles effectively in the past, workable as best 11 when Robben returns.
Disadvantage: Alaba weaker on the right than left, Müller interplay with Gomez must be rethought.
Alternative 2: Alaba as 1 for 1 replacement for Schweinsteiger.
Advantage: Least disruptive solution, placing burden of adaptation on one player. Alaba has CM experience from amateur play and Hoffenheim stint.
Disadvantage: High pressure and responsibility for young player; may take extended period to work out responsiblities.
Alternative 3: Pranjic as 1 for 1 replacement for Schweinsteiger
Advantage: Least disruptive solution, experienced player, and Pranjic has played the position in high level CL matches in past seasons.
Disadvantage: Makes attack even more left-side dependent, questionable if same protection afforded CBs exists with Pranjic occupying spot.
Alternative 4: The nuclear option: Switch to 4-4-2, adding Olic as 2nd striker
Advantage: Places several players in roles of late 09-early 10, a period of great success for team. Calms Olic complaints, makes rotation easier.
Disadvantage: Kills Gomez momentum, complications arise when Robben returns. Systemic shift possibly an overreaction.
Alternative 5: Gustavo and Tymoshchuk pair off together
Advantage: Lack of disruption for top 4, keeps Alaba in role of attacking super-sub. Helps insure Tymoshchuk contract incentive met.
Disadvantage: Neither player versatile enough to execute Schweinsteiger’s role in the attack. Tired-legged combo after international break.
You may even have another solution in mind, but which of these alternatives do you think will be most effective? Cast your vote below and expand on your thoughts in the comments if you like!