Thomas Tuchel expected to lead Bayern against Monchengladbach despite having flu

By Sports Desk February 02, 2024

Thomas Tuchel is expected to lead Bayern Munich against Borussia Monchengladbach despite the head coach being hit by flu in recent days.

The former Chelsea boss missed training on Wednesday and Thursday through the illness and has looked a doubt for Saturday’s Bundesliga clash at the Allianz Arena.

Sporting director Christoph Freund stood in at the pre-match press conference but said Tuchel would “in all likelihood” be on the touchline as Bayern look to heap pressure on Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

“Thomas will come down to Sabener Strasse (training ground) today and take training,” Freund said. “He’s getting better. We’re positive he can be at the game tomorrow.”

Tuchel was pictured later on Friday taking training on the eve of the Gladbach game, with Noussair Mazraoui back with the group following Morocco’s exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Joshua Kimmich returned to light training after a shoulder injury and new signing Bryan Zaragoza worked with his new team-mates for the first time.

Bayern announced in December that a deal had been reached with Granada to sign the 22-year-old forward at the end of the season, but injuries saw him arrive earlier than planned in a loan switch.

Sporting director Freund said: “It wasn’t the original plan. Due to the injuries, we discussed what we could do. We then decided we’d tried to bring him now. It was a last-minute thing.

 

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“I was in Granada on Monday, had good discussions and were able to reach an agreement. We’re very happy Bryan is here now.”

 

Zaragoza, speaking at his unveiling, added: “The plan was for me to come in the summer.

“The situation is how it is. This is a unique chance for me. I’m very grateful to Granada, but this was a big chance for me.”

Zaragoza is the third first-team signing made by Bayern during the winter transfer window after Eric Dier and Sacha Boey joined from Tottenham and Galatasaray respectively.

Sporting director Freund said: “We wanted to strengthen at the back with a centre-back and right-back. We’re happy.

“What’s happened with Bryan wasn’t the plan, but we reacted to the situation and were able to bring it forward. I’m very happy about that.

“Whether it’s all going to work out, we’ll see in the coming weeks and months. I’m positive and pleased we’re now well set.”

Gladbach will be hoping to darken the mood in Munich, with boss Gerardo Seoane looking to tweak the set-up that earned a 0-0 draw at leaders Leverkusen last weekend.

 

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“When you play against the top teams, you need to play really well across the board,” he said. “The other team also has to have an off day.

 

“From time to time against Leverkusen, we wanted to press higher up the pitch and go on the attack, but we didn’t manage to do that.

“Sitting back worked well, however. We’ll have to be quicker on the counter and use space better than we did last weekend against Bayern.

“We’re planning on preparing as much as we can for the opposition and playing as well as we can in all departments.”

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