In a disappointing result for Bayern Munich, Thomas Müller’s appeal to reduce his two-game suspension was rejected by the Appeals Senate of the European Football Union (UEFA) today.
Müller, who received a two-game ban because of a high kick on Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico back on December 12th, will now definitely miss both ends of Bayern’s upcoming Champions League set with Liverpool. Müller has been a consistent force and playmaker this season for the Bavarians, and his offensive prowess will be missed against the high-octane attack of Liverpool.
The suspension will leave Niko Kovac examining his options. James Rodriguez would seem like the natural replacement for Müller, but Kovac could shift Leon Goretzka up to the “10” if he decides to go with a more defensive midfield structure. If so, Javi Martinez or Renato Sanches could get the call to play with Thiago Alcantara as part of a double-pivot, allowing Goretzka to play in a more attacking role.
Goretzka has excelled offensively of late as he has four goals in his last three games for the Bavarians. James, of course, has been embroiled in a battle for playing time all season under Kovac.
Whatever Kovac decides, Bayern will have its work cut on February 19th and March 13th when the Bavarians square off with Liverpool.