In the early stages of the 2014 to 2015 season, Bayern Munich has played three formations: 3-4-1-2, 4-2-2-2 and 4-3-3. However, during the previous season, the preferred formation was 4-1-4-1.
When discussing formations, the numbers indicate the amount of players in each "band," from the deepest to the most forward. For example, the 4-3-3 has four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards. The 4-1-4-1 has four defenders, one defensive midfielder, four attacking midfielders and one forward. Bayern's manager, Pep Guardiola, is known to switch formations often. While the 4-1-4-1 was his preferred formation during much of the past season, he started to shift away from it toward the end of the season. The team is expected to use the 3-4-3 in addition to all of the formations already mentioned. The key for Guardiola is the ability to be flexible in terms of tactics.