Bayern Munich’s first Champions League opponents FC Barcelona will have a few more days of rest before hosting the Bavarians.
La Liga had asked for Barcelona’s away trip to Sevilla to be postponed due to a schedule clash between the weekend’s fixture and CONMEBOL’s World Cup qualifiers, the last of which would have been played on late Friday, thereby effectively preventing players from playing again on the weekend. Another game that will be postponed is Villareal vs Alaves.
This puts Barcelona at a huge advantage in terms of rest. Bayern’s international players will only return to Munich on Thursday, which means Julian Nagelsmann will have just one day with his full squad to prepare for Saturday’s crunch match against RB Leipzig. After that, another single day of training will have to suffice before the team travels to Barcelona.
The schedule becomes especially packed for Bayern’s German internationals (Manuel Neuer, Niklas Süle, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala). Here is the hectic week that they have to go through:
- Tuesday: traveling to Iceland
- Wednesday: game vs Iceland (World Cup qualifier)
- Thursday: traveling to Munich
- Friday: training, traveling to Leipzig
- Saturday: game vs Leipzig (Bundesliga), traveling back to Munich
- Sunday: training or day off
- Monday: training(?), traveling to Barcelona
- Tuesday: game vs Barcelona (Champions League)
As you can see, the players will have little, if any, time to rest in the next eight days. It doesn’t help that the three games during those eight days are extremely important. Add that to Bayern’s long current injury list, and Nagelsmann will have quite a headache to deal with.
Compared to this, Barcelona can now give their international players a little breather. Of course, no one can or should blame Barcelona for CONMEBOL’s silly scheduling mishap. But it cannot be denied that a rest in between busy schedules can work wonders in these times.
How well Bayern navigates their insane schedule remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: it’s going to be a long, arduous week for players and fans alike.