Even though he will not be coaching his boys against Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday due to a red card suspension, Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel had a lot to say about the big match.
First and foremost, Tuchel addressed the squad’s injury situation.
“Joshua Kimmich trained well today. Kingsley Coman will be in the squad tomorrow. It’s still too early for Raphaël Guerreiro. He has only done a session and a half so far but he is on a very good path. I think there’s still a spot left in the squad tomorrow,” Tuchel remarked at his press conference (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “Jamal Musiala is ready to start. He can play between 60 and 75 minutes. It has not yet been decided whether he will start tomorrow. He can also play together with Thomas Müller.
“We have a small squad, especially in some positions. But there are also difficult decisions to make. From now on it’s non-stop towards the winter break. We need everyone in the squad to have strong mentality. No player has his playing time written in their contract. Everyone gives everything to play.”
While something might still be determined with who fills that final position in the squad, one thing that is absolutely certain is that the English media is hyping up this showdown.
“There’s always a lot of discussions in English football, especially on TV, many pundits are former United players. Then at United there’s still the legacy of Sir Alex Ferguson, which adds pressure. Clubs like Bayern or United want to live up to past successes. Little issues also make more noise at these big clubs. As a coach you want to foster a winning mentality. United aren’t having the best results right now, but it’s a club with a special mindset. We won’t underestimate them,” said Tuchel. “Their results so far don’t say much about them. You can never be sure in a game against United. When you think you’re in control, they can sit deep and rely on their outstanding transition game, with Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and now Rasmus Højlund up front. We can never switch off. United are always dangerous, they have a lot of individual quality.”
Finally, Tuchel realizes the magnitude of the game and match-up. For the first game of the group stage, the stakes are actually very high.
“Bayern Munich against United is a big game. They are two big clubs in Europe. It’s a big game and we don’t want to downplay it. We want to live out this footballing rivalry and take our fans with us. In 1999, Bayern had an incredible number of chances to make it 2-0. Then the equalizer came out of nowhere. It was a very special game. Many fans will never forget the game. Sometimes these experiences awaken a special hunger in you to win the Champions League two years later,” Tuchel said.
Looking for an in-depth discussion of the upcoming game against Manchester United? Then check out our newest podcast episode where we discuss lineups, tactics, the pressure on Ten Hag and Tuchel, and more! Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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