Speaking in his press conference before Bayern Munich's match against SC Freiburg, Pep Guardiola revealed Manuel Neuer is suffering from some issues in his ankle. The Bayern and Germany No. 1 is officially questionable, so who could start in his place? Bayern II goalkeeper Ivan Lucic.
"Manu has a few problems with his ankle, we will see," Guardiola said. "Maybe Ivan will play."
Never heard of Ivan Lucic before? Makes sense, considering he has only played four matches with the reserve team this season. Bayern acquired the 20-year-old from Austrian Bundesliga side SV Reid in the summer after the departure of Lukas Raeder to Vitoria Setubal. He is part of the Austria U20 squad preparing for the U20 World Cup this summer, and he was one of the four goalkeepers who made the trip to the United States last summer.
If Neuer is unable to go, Guardiola will have no other choice than to use Lucic, who has allowed just three goals in his four appearances including two clean sheets. Pepe Reina is suspended for two matches after the red card he received against FC Augsburg – perhaps his last match in a Bayern kit. Tom Starke is still recovering from ankle issues of his own, having not made an appearance this season outside of preseason friendlies. Lucic is pretty much the only one left, BILD calling him the "backup backup backup goalkeeper".
This is the second season where Guardiola will have to look to the reserve team for a goalkeeper. Raeder had to play three matches last season after Neuer and Starke were both unfit in April of last season. Dortmund was too much for Raeder to handle, but he allowed just one goal against 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal Semifinal and kept a clean sheet against Eintracht Braunschweig.
With Freiburg clawing to stay alive in the Bundesliga, Lucic could have similar success Raeder did, and will have experienced defenders to shield him for the match.