With the return of monster defender Kim Min-Jae (26) to Bayern Munich, Thomas Tuchel has been handed a major boost. Confidence is high ahead of a crucial away game.
Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel gave a pre-match press conference on Monday (Sept. 9) at the club’s training center in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.
Munich will host Leverkusen in the 21st round of the 2023-2024 Bundesliga season at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 11.
The matchup between the two teams is a crucial one for the league title this season. Munich are in second place (16 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses, 50 points) and Leverkusen are in first place (16 wins, 4 draws, 52 points), with only two points separating them.
Leverkusen, in particular, have been on an incredible run of form, having not lost a game since round 20. With two losses to Frankfurt and Werder Bremen, Munich can take over the lead and hand Leverkusen their first defeat of the season if they catch Leverkusen in this match.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the match, Tuchel revealed that Alfonso Davis will miss the game as he is injured and has not been training, but three players who have been injured will return, including Kim Min-Jae.
“Joshua Kimmich, Kim Min-Jae, and Dayo Upamecano are back in training,” Tuchel said. We still have three training sessions today. If nothing happens, they will all be included in the roster for the away game.” As for Manuel Neuer, who has returned to training, the coach said that he will monitor the situation before departing for the away game.
Kim Min-jae was called up by Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea national soccer team during the winter break to compete at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar. With South Korea attempting to win the tournament for the first time in 64 years, it was expected that he would be absent at least until the Asian Cup final, which kicked off two hours earlier against Leverkusen.
However, Klinsmann’s no-tactics soccer led South Korea to a 0-2 loss in the Asian Cup semifinals against Jordan on July 7, ending the tournament early. Kim Min-jae missed the Jordan game due to disciplinary reasons after receiving his second booking of the tournament in the quarterfinals against Australia three days earlier and had to watch his teammates lose from the stands.
Kim Min-jae returned to training on the 8th. He rode the bike and did some individual training on the day, then joined his teammates for their first training session of the new year in the afternoon to warm up against Leverkusen.
Prior to Kim’s arrival, Kimmich was out with a shoulder injury and Upamecano with a hamstring injury. As a result, Munich had to rely on Matthias Dürich and Eric Dier at 메이저사이트 center back. Fortunately, they managed to secure three points with back-to-back wins against Augsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
With Kim Min-Jae back to full fitness, Munich will most likely deploy a center-back combination of Derrikht and Kim. Upamecano has returned from injury, but could be on the bench depending on his fitness.
Tuchel is confident of facing Leverkusen: “Thirty teams have tried to beat Leverkusen, but no one has been able to do it,” he said of the unbeaten run. We’ll see tomorrow. This unbeaten streak is impressive. But we have only two points less than them,” he said.
“That’s why we don’t have to hide. It’s a huge opportunity for us. We’ll be ready and we’ll go to Leverkusen and win the game,” he said.
On the importance of tomorrow’s game in particular, Tuchel said: “I’m very grateful that I have the opportunity to influence the course of the league. We have a very attractive week ahead of us. It’s still early in the season. A win against Leverkusen will create a gap. But it’s not over yet. It’s about challenging ourselves and our opponents from start to finish.”
“We want to take the next step and Leverkusen are having a very good season. We still have something to improve on. We want to take the next step and push Leverkusen,” he concluded.