Muller to miss Bayern's Dortmund trip as Kimmich eyes return

By Sports Desk October 07, 2022

Thomas Muller will not feature when Bayern Munich meet Borussia Dortmund on Saturday after continuing to suffer from COVID-19 symptoms, Julian Nagelsmann has revealed.

Joshua Kimmich, however, is in contention to return after recovering from the virus, as Bayern bid for a ninth consecutive win over their rivals.

Muller and Kimmich missed Tuesday's 5-0 Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen after testing positive for the virus last week, but both players have now returned negative tests.

However, Nagelsmann revealed on Friday that Muller was still experiencing symptoms and would miss the trip to BVB, although he was more positive regarding Kimmich's chances.

"Though they have both tested negative, Thomas Muller still has some cold symptoms, so he won't be in the squad," Nagelsmann said.

"Joshua Kimmich, everything looks good. He has no symptoms, he was asymptomatic the whole time. 

"He'll travel with the squad and then we'll see how far off he is after five days on the sidelines, whether he can feature in the starting lineup.

"It's a special game and that might mean there are special circumstances, but we'll see how training goes and how he feels.

"At the end of the day, both are now free from the constraints, which is good news."

With surprise packages Union Berlin and Freiburg setting the pace at the Bundesliga summit, Saturday's game will represent the first time in 13 years that neither Bayern or Dortmund has topped the league table ahead of a head-to-head meeting.

Though Dortmund's eight-match losing streak against Bayern is their joint- longest against any opponent in their history, Nagelsmann is wary of the threat posed by Edin Terzic's men. 

"They have made some good signings and have put together a strong team," he added. "Overall, I think they are having a solid season.

"They are a tough opponent and it will definitely be a good game. They're going to be a top opponent and it will be a really good game.

"We want to win more than anything. Dortmund like to defend deep and remain compact while waiting for opportunities to counter. They always have a clear shape when they counter.

"There's not really any sense of extra anticipation or tension, the preparations are the same. We don't want to let the tension come in too early, because if it comes too early, it can be hard to carry through."

Saturday's match will also see two of Europe's most highly rated prospects go head-to-head, as Bayern and Germany creator Jamal Musiala faces in-form England midfielder Jude Bellingham.

Nagelsmann praised both players as he hailed Musiala's development before adding: "Bellingham is having a very good season, he's very active, a different player to Jamal.

"He's more of a box-to-box player. With Jamal, it's all about the danger he can pose in front of goal, the passes he can play, and we're very happy that we have him.

"He has developed really well. He also developed well last season but didn't really hit that top level. Now, we're starting to see him do that.

"They both also have good standings in their national teams as well, so I think we can all enjoy the fact they are in the Bundesliga." 

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