Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel is well aware of how massive Saturday’s Bundesliga match between his team and Bayer Leverkusen is with regard to how it will impact the league title chase.
Tuchel also knows that his team is in for a battle.
“They have a deep five in build-up very close to each other. If we attack high, we need to attack very tightly together. But they’re also one of the best teams against a deep defence. It’s a classic 3-4-2-1. What counts is tomorrow at 6.30pm. We must not remain trapped in the knowledge of what we know. It’s about having the required bite. Leverkusen also want to make a statement. Then it’s about us wanting it more,” Tuchel remarked (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
“A win for Leverkusen opens up a gap, but it won’t be over, although it feels like a special moment to lay your cards on the table. It’s about challenging ourselves and therefore the opponent from the first second to the last. We want to take the next step. Leverkusen are having an outstanding season. We’ve still got room for improvement. We feel ready to take the next step and want to push Leverkusen.”
The Bavarians have been banged up, but could see the return of several key players for this match. Tuchel is expecting Joshua Kimmich and Dayot Upamecano to be fully ready play given how they have performed this week in training.
However, Manuel Neuer’s status might be a gametime decision.
“Joshua, (Kim) Min-jae and Upa are back in training. We still have a session today. If nothing happens, they all will be in the squad tomorrow. The signal is clear. You don’t need a signal from Josh. He’s always ready. He’s extraordinary in his attitude. Upa is similar, has enjoyed excellent development in his mentality. They’ve both gone through the full rehab process. If nothing extraordinary happens, they’ll be ready,” said Tuchel. “(Alphonso Davies) is unfortunately out tomorrow. He’s injured and didn’t train. With Manu he’ll try with goalkeeping training today. We’ll give him time until tomorrow 17:30. Then we’ll see whether he or Ulle will start.”
In the end, Tuchel knows that his team will have to try and be the one squad who can finally stop Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten streak.
“30 teams tried to beat them, none managed to do that. We’ll see tomorrow. This streak is of course impressive, but we only have two points less. That’s why we don’t have to hide. It’s a great opportunity for us. We’ll be ready and we’ll go there to win the game,” Tuchel said.
Looking for more thoughts and analysis on the Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen match? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Preview Show on Spotify or below: