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Daily Schmankerl: N’Golo Kante injured ahead of UCL clash with Bayern, Allianz expansion unlikely, and more!

Chelsea’s key central midfielder left a match his club went on to lose 2-0. His fitness for the crucial Champions League game against Bayern is doubtful.

Chelsea FC v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante injured 11 days before crucial match with Bayern Munich

Chelsea FC suffered a 2-0 defeat tonight in a match defined foremost by Manchester United’s Harry Macguire kicking former BVB striker and all-around good guy Michy Batshuayi in the nuts:

To add injury to insult, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante also limped off the pitch ten minutes into the match. The central midfielder is a key player for Chelsea, but injuries have frustrated both him and his club this season. He has missed nine games so far and now stands to miss more — possibly also Chelsea’s upcoming home game against Bayern Munich on February 25.

Munich city council unlikely to permit expansion of Allianz Arena (AZ)

Bayern Munich submitted an inquiry to the mayor of Munich’s office as to whether they might expand the capacity of the Allianz Arena to 100,000. The Department for City Planning has now replied, and the prospects are dim. The city’s response stated,

It would probably not be possible to implement an expansion of the spectator capacity according to the current factual and legal basis.

Bayern has not officially proposed any plans. Perhaps it might do so at some point in the future, though.

LOL Bild: “Defense alarm before Chelsea: Boateng & Pavard suspended” (Bild)

Oh noes! Actually, it’s before Paderborn. Because Boateng’s and Pavard’s suspensions for accumulated yellow cards apply only to the Bundesliga, not to the Champions League. It’s perhaps unfortunate that Hansi Flick will not be able to trot out either player ahead of the match, but the suspensions will not really affect training for the Chelsea match.

And in fact Flick may want to see how quickly Lucas Hernandez can regain his form. A full 90 minutes against Paderborn alongside David Alaba might well do him good. Hernandez played as the right center-back in his 45-minute comeback appearance against FC Köln, in which he arguably was in part responsible for Kölle’s lone consolation goal.

Manuel Neuer said sympathetically,

It was not easy for Hernandez to come in as right center-back. It was also a test as to whether we might play this model versus Chelsea.

Flick will probably test the combination again on Friday. Which left-footed center-back will play on the right for Boateng remains to be seen. Álvaro Odriozola at least stands a fair shot at a start at right back, if Pavard is out.

Former Germany international makes comeback in Oberliga (5th division)

Piotr Trochowski retired at the end of the 2016 due to lingering knee issues that wouldn’t allow the then-32 year old to find his footing at the Bundesliga level and continue his career. Then, the former member of Germany’s 2010 World Cup squad played in Rafael Van der Vaart’s testimonial match and decided that he wanted to figure a way to stay in better shape than he was.

Enter: Hamburger SV III in the Hamburg Oberliga.

Trochowski has joined Hamburg’s third team playing all the way down in the fifth division of German football, the Oberliga. He made his debut this weekend in a match against TuS Osdorf. The match ended in a win for HSV III.

Stop it, it’s too silly

...and VfB Stuttgart have a player nicknamed Ali G.

Seriously: joker Al Ghaddioui scored the game-winning 1-0 against Bochum yesterday. His value to the club has not be lost on the Stuttgart fans:

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