Manuel Neuer mark his much-anticipated return to action after a lengthy injury layover in Bayern Munich’s 8-0 win over Darmstadt in the Bundesliga over the weekend. Prior to starting and completing the full 90 minutes with a clean sheet to boot, Neuer had not played in a senior match of football since Germany’s 4-2 win over Costa Rica in their final group stage match of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Sven Ulreich has stood in for Neuer this season up until the latter was back fully fit and ready to go, and summer signing Daniel Peretz featured in Bayern’s first round DFB-Pokal win at SC Preußen Münster. While there was an expectation that either Ulreich or Peretz would get the midweek nod for the second round Pokal match against FC FC Saarbrücken, that does not look like it is going to be the case.
Per an update from kicker’s Frank Linkesch (via @iMiaSanMia), Neuer is expected to get the start for Bayern against Saarbrücken, even though Peretz started in the first round Pokal match and Ulreich is now Neuer’s direct backup. The decision has already been made by the club’s coaching staff, though there are some concerns as to whether or not the match will go ahead as scheduled.
Saarbrücken’s match against Dynamo Dresden in the 3. Liga that was supposed to take place at Ludwigsparkstadion was called off due to the conditions of the pitch being deemed unplayable. There had been heavy rain in the area for consecutive days before the match that really jeopardized the pitch to the point where the Pokal match against Bayern might very well get postponed.
Regardless of when the match takes place, it is likely that Bayern will still stick with Neuer in goal, as they probably want to give him more minutes and repetitions since he has only just made his return. In the second half against Darmstadt, too, Neuer hardly had anything to do when Bayern cruised to an 8-0 victory, playing against only nine men.