Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel has bemoaned the lack of depth on his squad, but has been reluctant — of late — to use the quality players that he has available.
Last Friday, Tuchel did not even go to his bench at all during Bayern Munich’s 1-0 win over FC Köln. When asked if the team was set to rotate its lineup against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League, Tuchel did not commit to it.
“It’s a possibility. But it’s still a Champions League game, we’re on a good run and we don’t want to interrupt that, we had a long break from Friday to Wednesday. We’re already first in the group, but we don’t want to give the signal that it’s less important to us. If we make changes, it’s only to keep hunger high. We haven’t decided yet how much we’ll rotate,” said Tuchel.
Two players who have recently been on the outside looking in are Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry. Tuchel touched on the respective statuses of both players.
“(Müller) knows that he always has the chance to start. He knows my respect for him. Thomas is a legend for Bayern. I understand the discussion. The players who are playing are doing very well. Thomas remains a legend and will normally start tomorrow. Putting this situation on focus every week doesn’t do anyone any good. Of course he’s not happy with his situation. But Thomas will always remain a special player” said Tuchel. “Serge is incredibly reliable, he carried us at the end of last season. He had a very strong pre-season but unfortunately got injured early on.
“We noticed that after his hand injury, he didn’t have the ease playing with a splint. In the meantime, other players have settled into their positions. For Serge it is important to keep going. He has a lot of credit with us. Now it’s time to work hard and focus on the things that make him strong, then he’ll get back to the level that he expects of himself.”
As for Matthijs de Ligt and Jamal Musiala, Tuchel does not expect the center-back to return until 2024, while Musiala could be back later this week.
“My feeling is (De Ligt) won’t be back before the end of the year,” Tuchel remarked. “Today, Musiala will) train partially with the team for 20-30 minutes and then continue individually. Hopefully he will start full training on Thursday. He’s not an option for tomorrow, we’ll have to see whether it’s enough for the game against Union.”
With those aforementioned players out, things could get complicated against FC Copenhagen given the latest report from Bild (as captured by @iMiaSanMia):
Kim Min-jae and Noussair Mazraoui did not train with the team today. If both miss tomorrow’s game, Leon Goretzka is expected to start at center-back. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has also missed today’s training. Thomas Müller set to start tomorrow.