It has been a surprisingly slow Sunday for news, but the Daily Schmankerl found a few nuggets and also mixed in a scorching hot World Cup prediction (that will surely go up in flames).
One of the more exciting aspects of Bayern Munich’s preseason training is seeing how last season’s injured stars return. One player most fans are eager to see back in game action is Kingsley Coman. Coman, whose presence was sorely missed in the second half of last season, is excited for 2018-2019.
“I was doing well at the time (prior to the injury). I’m feeling better and better now but will still need time to get back to my best,” the 22-year-old said. In order to ensure that does not take too long, Coman has been working on his fitness during the summer and was one of the top three performers in the Bayern squad’s fitness tests at the start of this week. It meant he was racing past opponents once again on Friday in training despite having already completed a number of strenuous exercises.
Two years before Ice Cube released “It Was a Good Day” in 1992; Lothar and his West German teammates had a pretty solid day themselves in 1990.
Bundesliga.com took a look at five Bayern youngsters that fans should keep an eye on when Die Roten embarks on its preseason International Champions Cup tour:
- Renato Sanches, 20
- Lukas Mai, 18
- Franck Evina, 17
- Meritan Shabani, 19
- Christian Früchtl, 18
Each of these players is, indeed, intriguing, but for a variety of different reasons. Mai asserted himself nicely at center back when he filled in at the end of last season. The 18-year old showed great promise as a player who could start to ease into the rotation behind Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, and Niklas Süle.
Evina (just 17!) was another player who made the most of his opportunity at the end of last season. Evina displayed an energetic and opportunistic side to his game and could be one of the players who will garner significant attention over the coming years if he can continue to progress.
Shabani was actually one of the players who struggled a bit to find consistency when given an opportunity to play with the first team last season. Surely Shabani has talent, but may need a bit of a slower approach to rising up the club ladder.
Früchtl is a player who can really capitalize on the opportunity to get minutes while Manuel Neuer rests. Considered Bayern’s goalkeeper of the future, it will be nice to see Früchtl against the first team players of other large clubs.
That brings us to Sanches...and while I have drawn the ire of some in the BFW community for my lack of belief of the Portuguese 20-year old, the ICC tour does present Sanches an opportunity to begin to prove doubters like myself wrong. I’ve got nothing personal against Sanches, I just don’t think he’s a good player. Whether it was too much, too soon or just a terrible initial judgement on his readiness, Sanches has failed to impress for both Bayern and Swansea City to the point where the club (allegedly) has had no reasonable offers for him this summer.
At some point, he has to perform and just hasn’t done it as of yet.
(Ed. note: Sanches will absolutely net a hat trick in Philly now).
It’s almost closing time for the 2018 World Cup and now that we are past processing the disappointments (Germany, Spain) and the surprises (Sweden, Russia), it’s time for a quick look at the four semifinalists.
One of these four teams will win the 2018 FIFA World Cup. pic.twitter.com/KvpYjbU4vS— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 8, 2018
Belgium: The Red Devils are the most exciting team left in the tourney. They are unabashed attackers aiming to break the opposition through intense offensive pressure. With (arguably) two of the top 10 players on Earth in Kevin DeBruyne and Eden Hazard leading the charge, Belgium will test France more than Les Bleus have been pressed thus far.
France: As fun as Belgium is to watch, France can be just as enjoyable with Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, and Olivier Giroud among others on the pitch. France is the deepest and likely most talented team left in the field. Mbappe, when not diving like Neymar 2.0, has shown fantastic skills and ability - and would have to be considered the player whose stock has risen the most during this tournament. With Corentin Tolisso as the only Bayern Munich player left in the competition, even the most ardent Germany fans in Munich may pull for France a bit (okay...maybe not, but it’s possible!).
England: This is the team almost no one outside of its home country wants to see capture a ‘W.’ This Three Lions group, however, is not nearly as hate-able as some previous iterations. Harry Kane has evolved into not just one of the great scorers in the world, but also one of the great leaders. With a much deeper and talented roster than it is given credit for, England has looked as dangerous and capable as any of the other three teams remaining.
Croatia: The Blazers have tested the nerves and (likely livers) of their fan base in the last two games as both were decided by penalty kicks. Behind Luka Modrić, Ivan Perišić, Ante Rebić, Mario Mandžukić, and Ivan Rakitić; Croatia has impressed with their rugged and fearless play. Croatia, however, needs to utilize this break in play more than the other remaining squads. After logging so many minutes, rest will be vital for the Vatreni to succeed against England.
- Belgium 3, France 2
- Croatia 2, England 1
- Croatia 2, Belgium 1
Note: There is a 100% chance I am wrong, but if I was basing my selection on beers by country, I would pick Belgium as Blanche De Bruxelles is one of my favorites!