News : Bayern before duel with Leipzig: Without Lewandowski, Boateng and Davies – Sport
There was good news for FC Bayern with a view to this damned international match week. According to the established findings of Bavarian researchers, no other Munich resident was injured. The Kimmichs, Goretzkas and Gnabrys are likely to return from Duisburg after the DFB’s 2-1 draw against North Macedonia, but they come back with good bones.
But of course Robert Lewandowski’s absence for weeks still overshadows the preparation for the possibly title-deciding duel with RB Leipzig this Saturday (6.30 p.m. in the live ticker on SZ.de). Uli Hoeneß, for example, showed the resentment as so often when he analyzed the national team at RTL. The Poland’s ankle ligament injury against Andorra (3-0) is a “big bummer” – a game of manageable value with massive consequences, because Lewandowskis don’t have many at the record champions. Just one, to be precise.
So you can understand Hoeneß, because the failure of the best and most greedy goalscorer can hardly be compensated for Bayern. In Munich they are well aware of the imbalance in personnel, because it has always been the case: everyone can go on sick leave, it almost doesn’t matter, then a Marc Roca or, if necessary, a Bouna Sarr plays or if nothing works at all, if you borrow Serdar Tasci – but Lewandowski always breaks out in horror when he catches a cold.
Hoeneß conjures up solidarity at FC Bayern
Fortunately for Bayern, that doesn’t happen that often, but right now, when Lewandowski wanted to break Gerd Müller’s age-old record (40 goals) and Bayern steer towards the championship, it is already stupid. So what to do How do you win against Leipzig, who are waiting for Bayern with the best defense in the league?
Hoeneß, the honorary president of Munich, tries the defiance mode. “Bayern are known for growing together in difficult times,” he said on television, “I’m building on that now.” And he is not the only one who sees it that way: Thomas Müller, who could replace Lewandowski in the middle of the storm as well as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, thinks: “Others have to step in. That is not the case in football either for the first time like this. “
Coach Hansi Flick is ultimately responsible for whoever jumps where. And it should alleviate the composure of the Munich people that he thinks little of further dramatization. “It’s just the way it is,” said the 56-year-old in the trade journal Kicker in all drought the situation. At least there are indications that the attacker’s return is accelerating. According to reports, Lewandowski is striving to be operational again in two weeks, despite a leg that is currently bandaged. It won’t be enough for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals against Paris Saint-Germain (April 7th), even iron man from Warsaw can’t do that.
Especially since the pragmatist Flick relies on caution because he knows that he needs Lewandowski at full strength at the end of the season: “We don’t take any risks with him,” he quotes Kicker. Just before Easter, the coach is brooding over how his team wants to play football without his most dangerous weapon. Until Lewandowski’s right knee heals, Flick needs all his improvisational skills. It is clear that the offensive lecture has to be designed differently, because the spaces that Lewandowski allowed his colleagues with his broad cross are now missing.
Will Gnabry lead the storm against Leipzig?
In the penalty area, too, the 35-goal man is “a different and special player. He doesn’t make goals out of anything,” says Flick. As an alternative, a variant with Serge Gnabry at the top would come into question against Leipzig’s association of closeness – and behind it the proven offensive axis from Leroy Sané, Müller and Kingsley Coman. This is nowhere near a bad option, but an unfamiliar one nonetheless. And it would be necessary that Gnabry does not go underground again, as in the second half of the World Cup qualifier between the German team and the North Macedonians.
As a tinkerer, Flick is also required to install a powerful defensive: Jérôme Boateng is missing a yellow card, Alphonso Davies is a red card, these two established ones from the regular four-back should be replaced by Lucas Hernández and Niklas Süle. The latter had left the German national team prematurely with muscular problems, but the signals are positive for a commitment.
And the people of Leipzig, who urgently need to catch up four points on Munich? For their part, they fear the absence of their most important defensive support: Dayot Upamecano suffered a muscle injury in his right thigh against Frankfurt (1: 1) and had to pause for two weeks. During the week he practiced selectively again. It should be decided in the short term whether coach Julian Nagelsmann throws the 22-year-old against his future employer (he comes to Munich for 42.5 million euros).
Of course, the RB trainer’s self-confidence does not fail. He had developed an eleven “that can compete with any team in the Bundesliga,” said Nagelsmann – and pointed to positive impressions from the first leg in Munich, “where we had a worthy match at 3: 3”. By the way, the people of Leipzig had one thing under control at the time: Robert Lewandowski.