Bayern Munich trio set to return ahead of key game in title race at Leverkusen, Neuer still a doubt

AP , Friday 9 Feb 2024

Bayern Munich is set to welcome back three players to its squad to play at title rival Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Saturday, but goalkeeper Manuel Neuer remains an injury doubt.

Tuchel
Bayern Munich s German head coach Thomas Tuchel arives prior to the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Moenchengladbach in Munich on February 3, 2024. AFP

 

Bayern is two points behind league leader Leverkusen, which is unbeaten in 30 games in all competitions this season.

This game is “the moment to put the cards on the table” in the title race, Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel said Friday, adding that he expects Leverkusen will get support from “neutral fans” across Germany who are keen to see Bayern's 11-year run of league titles come to an end.

Tuchel said he plans to have central defender Kim Min-jae back after he reached the Asian Cup semifinals with South Korea, and that defender Dayot Upamecano and midfielder Joshua Kimmich are expected to be in the squad after recovering from injuries.

Upamecano has been out with a hamstring injury and Kimmich with shoulder problems since both were hurt in Bayern's 1-0 win over Union Berlin on Jan. 24. Tuchel recalled how Upamecano returned from another injury last year and scored the opening goal in a statement win over Borussia Dortmund.

Tuchel said a decision would be taken on Neuer's fitness after training Friday after the goalkeeper missed training earlier this week with an unspecified problem. Backup Sven Ullreich would step in if Neuer can't play, Tuchel added.

Forwards Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry remain out with injury as does left back Alphonso Davies, who strained a knee ligament in last week's 3-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

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