Bayern Munich’s injury list is piling up as they prepare to face the most in form team in Bundesliga since the turn of the year – Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Eagles are the most inform team in the league currently, having won seven of their eight matches this year and drawing the other one.
In fact Frankfurt are doing so well they haven’t lost since matchday 11, against Wolfsburg back at the beginning of December.
Bayern haven’t been doing too bad of late either. The Reds recently won the Club World Championships in Qatar and have only dropped five of twenty-four points on offer since the start of 2021.
Bayern sit top of Bundesliga ten points ahead of Frankfurt in third before the weekends games.
The game on Saturday is historic in being the 100th time the two sides have met in Bundesliga.
Bayern have the stronger head-to-head record, winning six of the last seven against Die Launische Diva (the moody diva).
“It is one of those matches about attitude and how we approach the game. What I expect from my team is that they get on board and show everything we have.”
Injuries and absences mounting up for Bayern
Like many games in the league, Saturday might seem straight forward for Bayern but Flick looked a little harried in the press conference ahead of the game.
Flick had just come off the news that Corentin Tolisso will be out for at least three months after picking up a muscle injury in a routine training exercise yesterday.
Tolisso joins the absence list along with Douglas Costa who was ruled out a few days back with a metatarsal problem.
Thomas Muller and Benjamin Pavard will both miss the game in Frankfurt due to submitting positive covid tests.
Flick confirmed that Leon Goretzka, Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng will be involved on Saturday. Goretzka and Martinez have both recently been isolating after submitting positive covid tests whilst Boateng has returned from an injury lay-off.
It’ll offer some reprieve to Flick who promoted three academy players to the bench to make up the numbers in the extraordinary draw against Arminia Bielefeld on Monday evening.
Bayern were at risk of losing to a promoted side for only the second time in 46 encounters with newly promoted teams to the league. The Reds were down 3-1 in the second half with goals from Robert Lewandowski, Tolisso and Alphonso Davies salvaging a point.
Flick is aware of the danger Frankfurt pose on Saturday and, even though he has a depleted squad, he says all his players should want to play in these types of top of the table clashes.
Flick said ahead of the matchup: “It is one of those matches about attitude and how we approach the game. What I expect from my team is that they get on board and show everything we have.
“I am happy for Frankfurt. I think Fredi Bobic (sports director) and Adi Hutter (manager) have been doing a great job in the past years. The team is put together well and several players have evolved well.”
Flick reserved special praise for Martin Hinteregger, describing the defender as one of the “crowd darlings of Frankfurt”.
Flick said of Hinteregger: “He is a great defender with passion which is what fuels him. They know how to hurt the opposition.”
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Hansi and the politician
Hansi Flick has stated he will be suing Johannes Huber, a member of the AfD – a German right wing political party. Huber is accused of using Flick’s words to create anti-political sentiment when Flick was caught up in a debate with renowned epidemiologist Karl Lauterbach who criticised Bayern going to Qatar for the Club World Championships during the pandemic. Flick said of Huber’s actions: “I do not want to be put into any connection with his party. They do not represent any of my values.”
David Alaba officially confirms he is leaving Bayern but doesn’t let up where to
Bayern Munich and David Alaba held a press conference on Tuesday to confirm the Austrian will be leaving the club at the end of the season.
Alaba insisted the decision was not about money but that the defender, who has been at Bayern for thirteen years, seeks a new challenge.
Alaba, who is out of contract at the end of the season and free to talk with any club, did not hint to where he is going next, avoiding questions on Barcelona and Real Madrid whilst saying that although he has stated in the past his intentions to play in England, things have now changed.
Alaba also said his decision had nothing to do with his status at the club – some in the media speculated that Alaba felt undervalued – and that the decision also had nothing to do with the recent signing of Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig.
One aware reporter noted Alaba had been speaking Spanish on the pitch in recent matches, but the defender explained this is only because he has Spanish teammates – which include defensive partner Lucas Hernandez.
What every happens next for Alaba he will have options being only 28 years old and in the prime of his career.
Alaba said: “I have decided for me personally to do something new. That was not an easy decision for me because this club is close to my heart and I am grateful to everyone here for many things. It has been an incredible, beautiful and intense time.
“Internally and personally I have a very good relationship with the people responsible at Bayern.
“I want to find a new football challenge to evolve as a player and as a human being off the pitch.”