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Kovac reveals Coutinho isn't fit enough to start against Schalke

By Rune Gjerulff

Philippe Coutinho isn't fit enough to start against Schalke 04, says Niko Kovac - but Ivan Perisic is.

Niko Kovac.
Niko Kovac.Photo: Sven Mandel / CC-BY-SA-4.0
Bayern München coach Niko Kovac says Philippe Coutinho isn't quite ready to be in the line-up when the German champions face Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

The Brazilian international will be part of Bayern's squad for the game, though.

"From what I've seen, he's a world class footballer. He's not about creating a scene or being glamorous. Philippe wants to be integrated into the team. We won't run him into the ground though – he is not at his peak fitness yet, we have to get him to that level first," Kovac told reporters at a press conference, as quoted by the club.

Ivan Perišić, on the other hand, is an option for the starting eleven, Kovac revealed.

"Ivan Perišić has come a lot further – he's at the same fitness level as the rest of the team. He’s definitely an option for Schalke, maybe even to start. We can start to use him now," he said.

Kovac also revealed that Jerome Boateng, Jann-Fiete Arp and Leon Goretzka will all miss Saturday's game. Boateng and Arp are ill while Goretzka remains sidelined with a hamstring injury after missing Bayern's Bundesliga opener against Hertha last week.

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