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Niko Kovac leaves key players out of the squad ahead of season opener

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It looks like the Bayern Munich coach has opted to leave some of his squad behind for various reasons.

Real Madrid v Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Ahead of Bayern Munich’s league opener against Hoffenheim, head coach Niko Kovac has made a bit of a roster shake up. Serge Gnabry, Sebastian Rudy, Corentin Tolisso, Renato Sanches, and Juan Bernat are all not listed on Bayern’s roster.

Serge Gnabry is the only one of the bunch who is currently injured, still recovering from a nasty thigh injury that has plagued him throughout the preseason. That leaves four somewhat conspicuous names on the the absentee list.

Sebastian Rudy and Juan Bernat have been the subject of seemingly endless transfer speculation so Kovac leaving them off the team is a smart move as an injury would only lower their sale price. However, the other two may come as some what of a surprise.

Renato Sanches should be used to being skipped for first team billing nowadays as sad as it is to say or even think, but Corentin Tolisso is fresh off of a remarkable summer in which he won a world cup. His absence should be considered as a tactical move as he has most likely yet to entrench himself as the team’s 6 in his coach’s eyes.

Resulting squad

If the above report is indeed accurate, then the resulting matchday squad for Bayern will be:

Strikers: Robert Lewandowski, Sandro Wagner

Wingers: Kingsley Coman, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery

Midfielders: Thomas Muller, James Rodriguez, Thiago Alcantara, Leon Goretzka, Javi Martinez

Fullbacks: David Alaba, Joshua Kimmich, Rafinha

Central Defenders: Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Niklas Sule

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Sven Ulreich