Injury-hit Bayern to make 'last-minute decisions' for Real Madrid semi

AP , Monday 29 Apr 2024

Bayern Munich is bullish again after four wins in a row, grateful to have the chance to flip what has been a disappointing season by winning the Champions League.

Thomas Tuchel
Bayern Munich s German head coach Thomas Tuchel speaks during a press conference on April 29, 2024 in Munich, southern Germany, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg football match between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. AFP

 

The Bavarian powerhouse faces old rival Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Tuesday, when Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel is hoping his injured contingent can recover in time.

“There will be a few last-minute decisions,” Tuchel said on Monday regarding the fitness of Konrad Laimer, Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano, Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sané.

Laimer and de Ligt were both injured in Bayern’s win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Germany forward Serge Gnabry has recovered from a thigh injury and Tuchel expects him not only to play but to score against Madrid.

“I don’t know how I know, but it will happen,” Tuchel said.

Tuchel, who is due to leave Bayern at the end of the season by mutual accord, did not mention club powerbroker Uli Hoeneß’ criticism of his record on player-development.

Hoeneß told Kicker magazine on Monday that he stood by the comments. Tuchel on Saturday called them “absolutely baseless.”

Bayern’s only chance of a trophy this season remains in the Champions League after Bayer Leverkusen ended the club’s 11-year reign as Bundesliga champion, and third-division Saarbrücken terminated German Cup hopes in the second round.

“The task against Real is to get enough people in attack to hurt them, but at the same time not to be caught out," Tuchel said. “Those are very narrow margins. We have to find a good balance.”

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