Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann is preparing to face Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday night despite being without 13 players for the clash.
After left-back Alphonso Davies’ positive COVID-19 test on Thursday, Die Roten are up to nine positive cases whilst a further four players are absent. Right-back Bouna Sarr and striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are on duty at the Africa Cup of Nations whilst Leon Goretzka and Josip Stanišić are injured.
The decimation of the squad has seen their 34-year-old coach call up 16-year-old midfielders Paul Wanner and Arijon Ibrahimovic.
Nagelsmann told the media in his pre-match press conference: “Our exchanges with the health authorities are extremely lively. My job is to prepare the players as if the match is taking place.
“The situation is very challenging, but at the moment, I expect to be on the sidelines at the Allianz Arena.
“I have no opinion about whether the game should be postponed or not as it’s not my decision to make.”
On the two young midfielders he has called up, Nagelsmann said: “They are both very talented players. The situation has also something positive — the promotion of the talents.
“We have registered the players and made a request so that we can have more than three players with reserve team contracts on the pitch.”
Kimmich returns after COVID-19 complications
Bayern Munich have welcomed the return of Joshua Kimmich ahead of Friday’s Bundesliga match against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The defender or midfielder has been absent for nine weeks after suffering lung scarring from COVID-19. The 26-year-old has since made a U-turn on his decision not to get vaccinated.
His stance on getting the vaccination saw him being voted ‘disappointment of the season’ after a survey amongst 234 Bundesliga players. Kimmich’s return to training saw him given applause by his teammates.
Meanwhile, Sven Ulreich will start in goal after Manuel Neuer’s positive COVID test.
Nagelsmann said: “Joshua makes a good impression and is in top condition. We are all happy that he is back, but it’s about the players’ health.
“He [Ulreich] did very, very well this week and saved a lot of difficult balls.”
Bayern Munich sit nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table. They face a Monchengladbach team who limped through December with three defeats in that month, including 6-0 and 4-1 losses.