The long wait for Ruckrunde will be over next week as Bayern Munich will face RB Leipzig on January 20. The record Bundesliga champions will be looking to consolidate their position at the top of the points table. Julian Nagelsmann’s side will have to look for a good start to the second half of the season without the help of Sadio Mane.
The Senegalese forward is recovering from a serious injury that he suffered in November. Mane had to undergo surgery for this injury, which eventually didn’t allow him to participate in the World Cup 2022. The 30-year-old forward was ruled out for three months, but he is eager to make an early return.
According to AZ, Mane remains hopeful about recovering in time for the first leg of the RO16 Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain. The record Bundesliga champions will travel to Paris on February 14 for the first leg, while the return leg will take place in Munich on March 8.
Nagelsmann and Bayern will be hoping that Mane can feature in both games. The former Liverpool forward has the experience of scoring big goals in the Champions League, so his presence in the squad against a tough opposition will be a big boost.
Mane has endured a mixed debut campaign with Bayern. Despite the ups and downs in his performances, Mane has chipped in with 15 goals and assists during Hinrunde. He is expected to get better as the season progresses, so Bayern will hope to see him return sooner rather than later.
In the absence of Sadio Mane, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, and Kingsley Coman will have to step up in the wide positions. All three players have done well in patches this season. Nagelsmann would hope to see more consistency from them in the coming weeks.
Mathys Tel will also have a big role to play in the absence of Sadio Mane. The French striker can play on the left flank. He can be a lethal option for Bayern during the second half of the season after showing glimpses of his incredible talent in Hinrunde.
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Die Roten has already suffered two season-ending injuries to key players. Manuel Neuer broke his leg during a freak accident on a ski trip, while Lucas Hernandez ruptured his knee ligament during World Cup 2022. Nagelsmann and the Bavarian faithful will be hoping that there are no injury setbacks during Ruckrunde.