Joshua Kimmich missed out on Bayern Munich’s recent wins over Borussia Dortmund and Heidenheim due to the red card he received in their 8-0 win over Darmstadt at the Allianz Arena, but he is back and available for the clash against FC Köln. The last time Bayern travelled to the RheinEnergieStadion was a day laden with the highest caliber of drama. Jamal Musiala’s late goal secured an eleventh straight Meisterschale for the Rekordmeister thanks to Dortmund failing to take care of business against Mainz and both Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidžić were fired by the club prior to the final whistle being blown.
This time around, ahead of the trip to the cathedral city, Thomas Tuchel confirmed that he really does not see any reason why Kimmich should not play despite missing the last pair of Bundesliga matches, but perhaps being fatigued from his involvement with the German national team during the international break. Die Mannschaft slumped to defeats against Turkey and Austria, which were both matches Kimmich featured in, but Tuchel feels Bayern’s No. 6 is too integral to Bayern’s structure to not be used on Friday evening.
“There’s no reason for him not to play. He’s a key player who has our full confidence. We always want to offer a stable environment, particularly in difficult periods. The feedback from the national team coaches is that the top players are tired - mentally and physically. It’s not just about playing time but also the time travelling, in hotels or on the bus,” Tuchel explained in the press conference previewing the match (via @iMiaSanMia).
Naturally, with another international break having just concluded, Bayern’s German contingent are not the only players where Tuchel and the coaching staff have to monitor fatigue. “We’ll have to see again how Minjae Kim and Alphonso Davies return and perform after extremely long travels. From next season there’ll be even more Champions League matches and the 2025 Club World Cup. That doesn’t just affect Joshua but many players. We’re the team that has to play on Friday tomorrow. That can’t be in the interests of the players or the game. It has to be done with joy. The situation is at the limit, maybe even over the limit,” Tuchel continued.
All of Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, and Konrad Laimer featured in all of the friendlies between Germany and Austria, so Tuchel will have the difficult choice of how he wants to start in midfield, though neither of the three played all 90 minutes of any of their respective matches during the break. Of course, Tuchel does also have the option of choosing to start Aleksandar Pavlović alongside one of Kimmich, Goretzka, or Laimer, too.