Bayern Munich will face Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday in a game that may decide the outcome of the Bundesliga championship. But Bayern will be without two of its starters. That has significant consequences for Bayern Munich’s potential lineup:
Thiago Alcantara missed Bayern’s last game this past Saturday, when the club thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2. An adductor problem has kept him out of action this past week, including team training on Sunday. Per Bild, Thiago trained individually on Sunday, working on dribbling slaloms and sprints. Flick confirmed at Monday’s press conference that Thiago indeed will not travel with the team to Dortmund.
Serge Gnabry made a brief appearance on Saturday, playing 26 minutes in the second half. But Gnabry still seems to be struggling with an minor injury. On Sunday, he lasted only half an hour before breaking off training and heading for the locker room. He has traveled with the team, however, and seems to be fit.
Jerome Boateng also picked up a minor muscular issue on Saturday, leading coach Hansi Flick to replace him with Lucas Hernandez in the second half. Flick said afterward that Boateng should be fine and confirmed Boateng’s availability on Monday.
#Flick zu Boatengs Auswechlsung wegen muskulärer Probleme: "Er hat ein bisschen Probleme gehabt, aber ich glaube nicht, dass es so schlimm ist, dass er ausfallen wird. Ich denke, dass es bis Dienstag wieder passen müsste." Also bleibt die Viererkette fürs Duell beim BVB.#FCBSGE— Patrick Strasser (@AZ_Strasser) May 23, 2020
Flick on Boateng’s substitution on account of muscular problems: “He had a bit of problems, but I don’t think it’s so bad that he’ll miss the game. I think that it’ll be fine by Tuesday. Hence the back line will stay (the same) for the duel with BVB.
It is a blow for Bayern that Thiago is not fit for Dortmund, but perhaps less than one might think. Leon Goretzka was outstanding for Bayern against Eintracht, playing essentially as a defensive, deep-lying central midfielder while his partner Joshua Kimmich pushed forward to support Bayern’s offense. Dortmund will be an adversary of another order of magnitude, but Gortetzka should be equal to the task.
If Gnabry is fit to start, then that is very good news for the team. His stand-in Ivan Perisic delivered a mixed performance against Eintracht in Gnabry’s place. If he has to replace Gnabry again, he will at least have a full match behind him. The game against Eintracht was his first appearance since suffering and recovering from an injury in training.