Munich (dpa) – FC Bayern’s high expectations for the start of the new Champions League season had disappeared after Serge Gnabry’s positive corona test.
Two months after the triumph in the premier class, the Munich team have to deal with some worries for their game against Atlético Madrid on Wednesday (9 p.m. / Sky). Only after further tests on the match day does coach Hansi Flick know who to plan for the game.
After last season’s triple and two subsequent Super Cup victories, Bayern wants to shine on the European podium again. The “optimal”, according to Flick, must be found. “There are a lot of good opponents in the Champions League,” said the 55-year-old. In addition, there is the difficult to calculate burden of the corona virus.
TESTS: Besides Serge Gnabry, are any other stars infected? Tests on the day of the competition should provide information as to whether there are other positive cases in the Munich ensemble. Only those who tested negative can get on the bus and drive to the Allianz Arena in the evening.
DEFENSE: There is still a long way to go until the final on May 29, 2021 in Istanbul, but that is exactly where the Munich team wants 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 again with international Toni Kroos with the handle pot. “We have great players, everyone gives their all in training,” said Lucas Hernández. “Together we want to confirm the excellent successes of last season.” FC Bayern is one of the favorites, the Frenchman said.
BALANCE: FC Bayern and Atlético meet for the seventh time in Europe, Munich leads with three wins, one draw and two defeats. Madrid have lost five of their last six Champions League matches against German teams. The Bavarians are very different: after eleven victories on the way to triumph in the previous season, this record series is extended.
EMOTIONS: At the age of 11, Hernández moved from Rayo Majadahonda to Atlético, where he became a professional, national player and world champion. Bayern spent 80 million euros on the defender last year, injury problems threw back the most expensive player in the club’s history in terms of transfer fee in the first season. “The first year was not the best year. I’m trying to shine this year,” said the 24-year-old. The start of the season was successful. “He’s in a really good position as a fullback right now,” said Flick. “He showed in the final phase of last season what qualities he has.” There were nice words from the ex-colleagues. “He left home and became world champion. Of course we miss him too. He is a great footballer,” said Madrid captain Koke.
TRAINER DUEL: The match between Bayern and Atlético is also a duel between two very different coaches. Business Hansi Flick meets warm-blooded Diego Simeone. He also looks forward to “the opponent’s coach, who has done a great 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 remain successful. Of course the injured are missing. But the players who are used to it will do everything they can to make up for the lack,” said Simeone. Captain Koke was also confident. “Bayern is always one of the big favorites. They come very far every year. We know who we are, we have our goals and we want to achieve them.”