At his pregame press conference, Bayern munich head coach Thomas Tuchel gave insight as to where the squad is in terms of health and what some of the personnel changes could be.
“We’ll see the players after the press conference. We have to see how Leon Goretzka, Dayot Upamecano and Raphaël Guerreiro are doing. We have some players who have played a lot recently, like Alphonso Davies, Kingsley Coman, Kim Min-jae. We are in constant communication and get feedback from the players. We won’t decide until tomorrow,” said Tuchel (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
“Rapha is training very well, but his injury history is difficult. That’s why he had to train longer than the others. He had several previous injuries. That’s why we’re a bit more cautious with him. At the moment he feels so good that he can probably play half time.”
One change that seems very likely is Serge Gnabry taking the spot of Coman.
“Serge is back, thank God for that. It’s not easy to play with the arm splint. It’s quite restrictive for the movement. He’s getting better every day and is now training with a smaller splint. Things are looking good in training. We need him and he is important to us. He is a candidate for tomorrow,” Tuchel said. “We’ll find a good mix of changes to bring in some fresh legs after the intense games we’ve had recently. We have to be smart and can’t just change eleven players. The game is too complicated and important for that.”
As far as a potential start for Aleksandar Pavlović goes, Tuchel said it was on the table.
“He is very close to being a starter. He’s ready for it, he’s earned the praise and was close to playing in the Champions League (against Galatasaray). But we had to react to the game. The final decision has not been made yet. He is a candidate,” Tuchel remarked.
One player who will not be line for a starting role — and that is because he will not even be at the stadium — is Daniel Peretz. Bayern Munich has released him to play with Israel’s national team early.
“Israel have to play four games during this international break. Daniel will be released by us today and will not be in the squad tomorrow so he can play on Sunday. I know it’s good for him to train here and have distraction and support,” Tuchel stated.
Whoever gets the call, Tuchel respects Heidenheim.
“They drew against Dortmund and had an important win against Stuttgart, who were in top form. They were a bit inconsistent in their performances. They’re a very strong team in the air, very strong on set pieces and crosses,” Tuchel said. “They are very flexible, react to the opponent and adapt their formation. They are very hard-working and have worked their way up to the Bundesliga. It’s another difficult game for us under new circumstances after two mentally difficult games.”