Bayern Munich had enjoyed an unbeaten record this season until Wednesday. The first defeat of the campaign came at the wrong time for Die Roten. Saarbrucken scored a late winner on Wednesday to dump Bayern out of DFB Pokal in the second round. It is a disastrous result for Tuchel and Rekordmeister as they were expected to go far in the competition.
Along with the defeat, Bayern suffered a crucial blow as Matthijs de Ligt suffered a serious injury early in the game. The Dutch defender had to be substituted in the 24th minute. The early murmurs from Germany do suggest that injury for De Ligt is serious.
According to Bild, Matthijs de Ligt is expected to be out for four to six weeks. The Dutch defender may have potentially played his last game of 2023. De Ligt has suffered an MCL injury and capsule damage to his right knee. It remains to be seen if the Dutch international will have to undergo surgery to repair the damage in his knee.
It is a big blow for Bayern since they have limited options in central defense. Dayot Upamecano is already recovering from an injury that has kept him out of action for the last three weeks. As things stand, Kim Min-jae is the only fit center-back for Bayern ahead of their weekend’s big game against Borussia Dortmund.
The knee injury comes at a horrendous time for Matthijs de Ligt. He was gaining momentum in his performances after starting in the last three games. It has been a frustrating campaign for him due to injuries and a lack of consistent playing time. Just when he was getting in rhythm, he suffered a big setback.
Upamecano has returned to first-team training, but he is unlikely to be fit to start against Borussia Dortmund. Thomas Tuchel may have to use the center-back pairing of Konrad Laimer and Kim Min-jae against their arch-rivals on Saturday.
Along with central defense, Tuchel also has a lot to think about his midfield combination against Borussia Dortmund. Joshua Kimmich is suspended for this game due to his red card against Darmstadt. With Konrad Laimer probably needed in central defense, Tuchel may have to play an attacking formation with Leon Goretzka in the number six role and two number tens ahead of him.
Want your voice heard? Join the Bayern Strikes team!
The injury problems do highlight the need for additions in January. Tuchel is hopeful about getting deals over the line in the winter transfer window. The German needs bodies in midfield and defense since few players will be playing in international competitions during January.