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Report: Niko Kovac has benched James Rodriguez for Der Klassiker

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We have no idea what’s going on, but that’s what Bild are reporting.

C Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga
MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 06: James Rodriguez of Bayern Munich looks dejected during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Allianz Arena on October 6, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
C Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 06: James Rodriguez of Bayern Munich looks dejected during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Allianz Arena on October 6, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
(Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Just hours before kickoff, German newspaper Bild has published an article on their website claiming that Niko Kovac has benched a “superstar” for Bayern Munich’s game against Borussia Dortmund. While the article is unfortunately behind a paywall, we gather that the superstar that has been benched is none other than Colombian attacking midfielder James Rodriguez.

This news, if it’s true, would come as a complete shock to fans and pundits alike. James was sidelined against AEK Athens in midweek because of a niggling calf injury, but he was reported to be fit for this game. We had a small scare yesterday when a Sky reporter claimed that he’d been left behind in Munich, but that was debunked as a video surfaced of the Colombian getting on the bus with the rest of the team.

The reason why Kovac has decided to take such a radical step is unknown. Leon Goretzka will instead play in midfield, along with Thomas Muller, while Franck Ribery and Serge Gnabry are expected to be the wingers. Not having James in such a game, after already having lost Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben, is going to be a serious blow to the Bavarian offense. We can only hope that he’s not injured, and can maybe come on as a super sub.