Bayern will travel to Gelsenkirchen in hopes of bringing home the first Bundesliga win of the season. Niko Kovac confirmed that the Bavarian giants will have to do without Leon Goretzka and Fiete Arp. Goretzka, who is out with a hamstring injury, also missed the first game of the season against Hertha Berlin.
Most likely, Bayern will have to cope without Jérôme Boateng as well, as he was unable to train on Wednesday and Thursday on account of illness. The clash with the side from the heart of the Ruhr Valley also comes too early for new star-signing Philippe Coutinho. Having join the team just last week, Coutinho has not participated in many Bayern practices or trained much since he featured for Brazil in the Copa América. Kovac explained:
We want to get him fit first and not take any risks so he can play to his full potential. He’s a world-class footballer and a very modest young man. We want to integrate him into the team.... We will not burn him up even though some people want us too.
Another summer arrival who is also expected to start the game on the bench is Bayern’s record-breaking signing, Lucas Hernandez. Newly recovered from an injury, Hernandez has played just two minutes of competitive football this season. Unwilling to force anything, Kovac also mentioned they are trying to integrate Hernandez into the team.
A new signing who, in contrast, might start against Schalke is Croatian international Ivan Perišić. After serving a one-match ban, the World Cup runner up is eligible to play in Gelsenkirchen. Kovac explained:
He’s at the same fitness level as our other players because he took up training earlier than Philippe. I’m very glad we have him.
Kovac commented on the competence of the Royal Blues and their new head-coach David Wagner:
Schalke are aggressive, they’re strong on defence and at turnovers. We must be prepared. It’ll be the first home match for their new coach.
Kovac concluded that although it will be a tough match, Bayern always want to win. He believes the squad is good in terms of both quality and quantity.