Bayern Munich face their biggest test of the ongoing Bundesliga campaign on Saturday when they travel to Bay Arena. Bayer Leverkusen are leading the points table by two points. A win for Bayern on Saturday will see them leapfrog Leverkusen in the points table.
Ahead of the big game, Bayern are sweating over the fitness of their captain. Manuel Neuer has not been spotted in the first team training this week due to knee problems. According to Sky Sports in Germany (via iMiaSanMia), Die Roten are not ruling Neuer out for Saturday’s game as they monitor his progress on a day-to-day basis.
Neuer has been in fine form for Bayern since returning to action in October after being on the sidelines for eight months due to a leg injury. His absence will be a big blow for Die Roten due to the technical and leadership qualities he brings to the team.
Die Roten will probably wait late until Friday to make a decision on Neuer. In case the German international doesn’t recover in time for the game, Bayern will start with Sven Ulreich in the goal against Bayer Leverkusen. Ulreich did a fine job earlier this season when Neuer was on the sidelines.
With Daniel Peretz on the sidelines due to injury, Bayern will most likely have Tom Hulsmann on the bench if Neuer doesn’t recover in time for the game against Bayer Leverkusen.
Meanwhile, Joshua Kimmich and Dayot Upamecano look certain to be part of the squad against Bayer Leverkusen. Both players were spotted training with the team on Wednesday after two days of individual training. Getting both of them fit for the starting XI will be a big boost for Thomas Tuchel.
Kim Min-jae will also be back in the squad for the game against Bayer Leverkusen after South Korea lost the Asian Cup semi-final against Jordan on Tuesday. The South Korean defender is expected to train with the first team on Thursday.
Serge Gnabry was also spotted on the pitch at Sabner Strasse, but the game against Bayer Leverkusen comes too early for him. Bryan Zaragoza has missed training this week due to illness. The Spaniard will hope to recover in time to make his Bundesliga debut for Bayern against the league leaders. Kingsley Coman and Alphonso Davies will surely miss the game against Leverkusen. The French winger is ruled out for three months, while Davies needs two to three weeks to recover from a knee injury.