Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel is doing his best balancing act to try and manage injuries, playing time expectations, and rotating to keep his boys healthy.
It is not easy, but this weekend’s match against SV Darmstadt 98 in the Bundesliga should provide a chance to step back and rest some players, right?
“Unfortunately, Serge Gnabry is ill and out tomorrow. Otherwise Dayot Upamecano, Raphaël Guerreiro and Leon Goretzka will be out. Hopefully everyone will get through the final training safely,” Tuchel said (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
With those injuries, plus the strain of English weeks, the natural inclination for many is to think Bayern Munich will rotate heavily against Darmstadt. Tuchel, however, would not commit to anything.
“I don’t like when people say: ‘We’re only playing against Darmstadt and Saarbrücken.’ It’s always about staying in the flow. Mathys Tel deserves to play and start. But we are currently very strong up front,” Tuchel said. “There’s no reason to interrupt the flow of our four attacking players. We haven’t had much of a break lately. Now we’ll take a look today and wait. But of course, we have a lot of options offensively.”
From earlier reports, we know that Manuel Neuer is going to make his return and Tuchel did seem pleased about that prospect.
“If nothing happens in training, he will play tomorrow. He’s looking forward to it, we’re looking forward to it. Many others are probably looking forward to it too. It’s a special situation. But he has huge experience,” Tuchel said. “He’s enjoying it right now and he can be proud of himself. He should enjoy it and that will make him strong. Now we hope he gets into his rhythm quickly and that everything goes well.”
As for what he expects from Neuer, Tuchel has no idea what things will look like in game action.
“Nobody can predict that now. I feel that he’s not tense. I think he wants to prove himself to everyone again. But he’s mostly delighted that he made it. In training I see a whole new level of goalkeeping. He is in a league of his own. He should see that as a gift for his own work. In training he’s showing a very unique level of goalkeeping,” said Tuchel.
Looking for more thoughts and analysis of the Bayern Munich vs. Darmstadt match? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast on Spotify or below: