Germany: Bundesliga
FT
2 - 0
(0 - 0)
FC Bayern
FC Köln
R. Guerreiro (65), T. Müller (90)
By Rune Gjerulff@runegjerulff

Tuchel provides squad update ahead of Köln clash, discusses possible rotation

Thomas Tuchel has given a squad update and discussed the possibility of rotating his team against FC Köln ahead of next week's crucial Champions League return leg against Arsenal.

Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel has given his side a squad update ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga clash with FC Köln

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, he confirmed that Manuel Neuer is fit to play and that Aleksandar Pavlovic "will get a few minutes" after returning from illness.

Leroy Sané, who returned from a pubic bone problem to play in the first leg against Arsenal, is set to miss the match.

"Leroy Sane had a reaction, so it's going to be tight for tomorrow," Tuchel said.

"It's about how much pain he can take. We did everything to make sure he could play for Arsenal. He was an important factor there and played a great game. Since he showed a reaction, we'll focus on him on Wednesday.

"The plan is for him to come back on Sunday or Monday. But if he plays, he's going to have another reaction in his pubic bone, which unfortunately will remain the case for the time being"."

 

Giving players match rhythm

As for possible rotation with a thought to the return leg against Arsenal on Wednesday, Tuchel said he plans to use the Köln game to give players match rhythm.

"We have several days between Köln and Arsenal. But there's the consideration to bring in some other players and make some changes. If we make changes, it's more to give the players some match rhythm for Wednesday and not to rest anyone," Tuchel said.

Left-back is one of the positions where Tuchel is most likely to make a change, with Alphonso Davies suspended for the Arsenal game.

Raphael Guerreiro and Noussair Mazraoui are the most obvious alternatives to Davies, and Tuchel confirmed that he wants to give both of them playing time against Köln.

“We have a few options. We can either switch Raphael Guerreiro as a straight swap, but Noussair Mazraoui has also played there for Morocco. I don't know if either of them will be able to play 90 minutes against Köln, but we'll give them both playing time to get them ready for Wednesday," said Tuchel, who could start one of them on the left and the other on the right.

“There's a big chance they start tomorrow because it makes sense with a view to Wednesday,” Tuchel added.

 

More changes at the back?

The Bayern coach left it open whether he will stick with Eric Dier and Matthijs de Ligt in central defense or give Dayot Upamecano and Kim Minjae another chance.

“It's important that both centre-backs stay together, but Matthijs de Ligt and Eric Dier don't need the game tomorrow to be ready for Wednesday. It may well be that they play tomorrow or we give Dayot Upamecano and Minjae Kim another chance to stick at it,” said Tuchel, who will not be in the dugout against Köln himself, as he's suspended.

“Zsolt Löw and Anthony Barry are on the bench, and I need to watch from the stands. It's not ideal, but we'll manage it,” he said.

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