Now that Champions League business has been taken care of, Bayern Munich travel to Gelsenkirchen to take on a band of Grouchy Smurfs who have been having a very bad time. Schalke, despite finishing second in the Bundesliga last year, have been in wretched form to start the season, losing all three of their opening games. Considering their record against Bayern, whom they haven’t beaten since the time of the dinosaurs, that run of games is likely to continue.
In the coach’s press conference, Niko Kovac confirmed that there were no new injuries on the Bayern side of things. All the players who travelled to Lisbon are fit and available for selection. Kingsley Coman and Corentin Tolisso remain sidelined by long term injuries, while Rafinha will be out for the rest of the month (at least).
Since this will be Leon Goretzka’s triumphant return to Gelsenkirchen, it would be bananas for Niko Kovac not to give him the start. Now, considering the reception Goretzka got from Schalke fans when he was still their player, he shouldn’t expect a warm welcome from fans of the Royal Blues. That is to be expected, however. Being hated in all the land is a staple for a Bayern Munich player.
Apart from that, it’s very hard to know who is going to make the cut today. Thomas Müller is virtually guaranteed to start, having sat out most of the game in Lisbon, but Robert Lewandowski, James Rodriguez, and Arjen Robben may be doubtful because of the minutes they’ve accumulated in the last few games. Kovac can’t seem to stop talking about the importance of rotation; he’s almost like the anti-Ancelotti in this regard.
Here’s a basic round-up of everything else the coach said in his press conference:
- He’s not paying attention to any of the praise, because people can turn on him in an instant.
- FIFA’s “The Best” award should go to Luka Modric.
- James Rodriguez is, like, really, really good.
- Joshua Kimmich will play more defensively tomorrow.
- Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are still going strong.
- Renato Sanches played well and will be rewarded with more game time in the coming days.
Now, without further ado, here are our predictions for the lineup: