Munich (dpa) – FC Bayern’s great anticipation for the start of the new Champions League season was gone after Serge Gnabry’s positive corona test.
Two months after the triumph in the premier class, the Munich team have to deal with a few worries before their duel against Atlético Madrid at 9:00 p.m. / Sky. Only after further tests on matchday does coach Hansi Flick know who to plan for the duel.
After the triple last season and two subsequent Supercup victories, Bayern want to shine on the European stage again. The “optimum”, according to Flick, should be found. “There are an enormous number of good opponents in the Champions League,” said the 55-year-old. In addition, there is the difficult to calculate burden from the coronavirus.
TESTS: Have other stars besides Serge Gnabry been infected? Tests on the day of the game should provide information on whether there are other positive cases in the Munich ensemble. Only those who have tested negative can get on the bus and drive to the Allianz Arena in the evening.
TITLE DEFENSE: It’s a long way to go until the final on May 29, 2021 in Istanbul, but that’s exactly where the Munich team want to go. Only Real Madrid managed to successfully defend their title after their triumph in 2016, and in 2017 and 2018 the royal team celebrated with international Toni Kroos again with the handle pot. “We have great players, everyone gives everything in training,” said Lucas Hernández. “Together we want to confirm the outstanding successes of last season.” FC Bayern are among the favorites, said the Frenchman.
BALANCE SHEET: FC Bayern and Atlético meet for the seventh time in Europe, Munich are ahead with three wins, one draw and two defeats. Madrid have lost five of their last six Champions League games against German teams. The Bavarians are completely different: after eleven victories on the way to triumph in the previous season, this record series is to be expanded.
EMOTIONS: At the age of eleven, Hernández moved from Rayo Majadahonda to Atlético, where he matured into a professional, national player and world champion. Bayern spent 80 million euros on the defender last year, injury problems threw the most expensive player in the club’s history in terms of the transfer fee back in the first season. “The first year wasn’t the best year. I’m trying to shine this year,” said the 24-year-old. The start of the season was successful. “He’s doing the full-back position very well at the moment,” said Flick. “He showed what qualities he had in the final stages of last season.” There were nice words from the ex-colleagues. “He left home and became world champion. We miss him too, of course. He’s a great footballer,” said Madrid captain Koke.
TRAINER DUEL: The game between Bayern and Atlético is also a duel between two very different coaches. The businesslike Hansi Flick meets the hot-blooded Diego Simeone. He is also looking forward to “the opposing coach, who has done an excellent job over the past nine years,” said Flick.
OPPONENTS: Simeone is not afraid of big teams or favorites. He is also aiming for a victory in Munich. “We will try to continue to be successful. Of course the injured are missing. But the players who are used will try everything to make up for the lack,” said Simeone. Captain Koke was also confident. “Bayern are always one of the big favorites. They make it very far every year. We know how we are, we have our goals and we want to achieve them.”