Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick believes Leroy Sane needs more time to establish himself with the Bundesliga champions.

Since joining Bayern from Manchester City for a reported €45million in July, Sane has scored three goals and provided three assists in seven Bundesliga games, three of which have been starts.

He has also created four big chances, with only Thomas Muller (six) and Serge Gnabry (five) creating more for Bayern.

His big chance conversion percentage is 50 per cent, while he has completed just 38.1 per cent of his attempted dribbles.

The attacker missed almost the entire 2019-20 season with City after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament and suffered a knee injury against Hoffenheim at the end of September.

Flick has largely been impressed with Sane's contribution but believes there is plenty more to come once he has settled at the club.

"You have to consider the background," Flick told a media conference ahead of Bayern's top-of-the-table clash with RB Leipzig on Saturday.

"He had a serious injury and was injured again in the Hoffenheim game. I know from my own experience that you need some time.

"What I see in training is good. It's not that easy when you come to a new club; you have to integrate first. At the moment we can't train like we did in pre-season."

Bayern are two points clear of Leipzig at the Bundesliga summit and will hope to improve on their recent record against Julian Nagelsmann's side when they visit the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Bayern won their first three meetings with Leipzig but have triumphed only once in their last five matches. Indeed, since 2017-18, only Hertha Berlin (four times in seven games) have picked up points in as many games against Bayern as Leipzig (four times in six games).

Leipzig are also the only team to stop the Bavarian giants from scoring in their last 70 Bundesliga matches, holding them to 0-0 draws in May 2019 and February 2020.

And Flick is in no doubt his side are in for a tough game against Nagelsmann's forward-thinking outfit.

"Leipzig have developed tremendously," the Bayern boss said. "Even before I was at Hoffenheim, I knew that Julian was a top coach.

"Leipzig plays forward very quickly and are very variable. The idea of their football appeals to me and I value Julian as a coach. That's why Leipzig are where they are."

Alphonso Davies returned to full training this week after six weeks out with ankle ligament damage, while Joshua Kimmich stepped up his own personal fitness programme following surgery on a right lateral meniscus injury.

Saturday's game will come too soon for them, but Flick holds out hope Davies could make an appearance in Wednesday's final Champions League Group A game against Lokomotiv Moscow.

"Alphonso has trained, but is not yet ready for tomorrow," Flick said. "Maybe he will be back on Wednesday.

"Otherwise, except for Coco Tolisso and Joshua Kimmich, everyone is on board. That is a good sign, especially in the current situation."

If Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are to overcome second-place RB Leipzig at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, they will need to get the better of a player that could well be lining up for them next season.

Dayot Upamecano has become one of Europe's most sought-after defenders following a string of dominant displays in the German top flight and the Champions League.

With Bayern's centre-back pairing of David Alaba and Jerome Boateng expected to leave at the end of the season, Hansi Flick has been heavily tipped to pay the reported €42m release clause in Upamecano's contract to bring him to Bavaria.

Ahead of what many are billing as the 22-year-old's audition over the weekend, we use Opta data to see if Upamecano would be an upgrade on Bayern's experienced central defenders.

The story so far

Despite supposed interest from Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal at the time, Upamecano opted for Salzburg in 2015 and soon got a taste for first-team football at feeder club Liefering.

Given the links between the clubs, it came as little surprise when the centre-back chose Leipzig in January 2017, quickly adapting to a new country and league with 12 Bundesliga appearances over the rest of the campaign.

Upamecano's displays the next year saw him nominated for the 2018 Golden Boy award, won by then-Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, but his game has since gone up another level under the stewardship of Julian Nagelsmann.

He has been a mainstay at the back, making 38 appearances in all competitions in the 2019-20 campaign.

Solid as a rock

Upamecano helped Leipzig finish third in the Bundesliga and reach the Champions League semi-finals last season.

He has started the 2020-21 campaign with a spring in his step and boasts particularly impressive defensive numbers when compared to Alaba and Boateng.

In his eight Bundesliga games, Upamecano has won 90 per cent of his tackles, with only Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba enjoying a better success rate (92 per cent) among those with at least 10 attempts. Alaba and Boateng are way behind in that department, with 50 and 57 per cent success rates respectively.

Upamecano contests significantly more duels than his Bayern counterparts, averaging 7.7 per 90 minutes to Alaba's 4.9 and Boateng's 5.7.

He has also won 65 per cent of his aerial battles this term, more than Alaba's 50 per cent and Boateng's 61 per cent, and has only been dribbled past by an opponent once all season.

With such impressive figures, it is hardly surprising that Upamecano has conceded just 0.7 goals per game this season, while Alaba and Boateng have let in 1.8 and 1.5 respectively per 90 minutes.

Contributing at the other end

It is not just in defence where Upamecano excels.

He boasts wonderful passing skills and consistently starts attacks for his side. This season he has initiated eight sequences that ended in a shot and been involved in 32 overall – both figures outstrip the Bayern pair.

Alaba and Boateng both average 75 passes per 90 minutes, while the forward-thinking Upamecano gets through 89 in the same period.

He is also more accurate when sending the ball long, successfully completing 75 per cent of such passes compared to Alaba's 54 per cent and Boateng's 58 per cent.

Robert Lewandowski will be licking his lips at the prospect of getting on the end of some of those passes should Bayern seal a deal for one of Europe's most impressive young defenders.

Alphonso Davies has returned to full training with Bayern Munich after six weeks out and Joshua Kimmich has stepped up his own personal fitness programme.

Davies, named 2020 Canadian Player of the Year, damaged ankle ligaments in the early stages of Bayern's 5-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24 and was ruled out for up to eight weeks.

The versatile youngster completed a full 90-minute session with his team-mates on Thursday, though he is not expected to be considered for selection against RB Leipzig this weekend.

In a further boost for Hansi Flick, influential midfielder Kimmich is also on the comeback trail.

The 25-year-old suffered a right lateral meniscus injury in Der Klassiker on November 7 and was not expected to feature again until January after undergoing surgery.

However, Bayern confirmed on their official website Kimmich has started running again and training lightly with the ball, though no updated timescale has been given for his return.

Kimmich has started all but four of Bayern's Bundesliga matches since the start of last season, the reigning European champions winning three and drawing one of the games he has missed.

He has completed 89.8 per cent of his Bundesliga passes this season – 87.1 per cent in the opposition half – and has won possession on 50 occasions.

Flick's side have been without Davies for 16 matches since the start of last term, meanwhile – their win rate dropping from 81.5 per cent to 68.8 per cent when he has not played.

Davies has created 1.97 chances per 90 minutes this season, putting him behind only Leipzig's Angelino (2.13), Freiburg's Christian Gunter (2.33) and Borussia Dortmund's Raphael Guerreiro (3) among defenders to have played at least three times.

Bayern face Leipzig, Union Berlin, Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga before the end of the year, while they also host Lokomotiv Moscow in a Champions League dead rubber next week.

Diego Simeone acknowledged a failure to take their chances cost Atletico Madrid, his side punished late on in a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich. 

Atletico went into Tuesday's Champions League clash with holders Bayern knowing that victory would be enough to secure second place in Group A. 

Joao Felix gave Atletico the lead with his eighth goal in 14 appearances this term, but the hosts could not score from any of their other 12 attempts, of which only three were on target. 

A weakened Bayern, without regulars such as Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer, grew as the game wore on, snatching a draw through Thomas Muller's 86th-minute penalty. 

It means Atletico now need to avoid defeat at Salzburg in their final group game next week to qualify for the knockout stages, and Simeone is fully aware where his side must improve. 

"We are not being forceful enough in attack, but we do create chances," Simeone told Movistar Plus. "Now we have a very tough game against Salzburg. 

"A small scoreline means you can always be caught. But until the penalty, Bayern had no chances to score." 

Atletico were again without Luis Suarez because of coronavirus, while fellow striker Diego Costa has endured another injury plagued campaign.

Joao Felix impressed against Bayern, managing more shots (three) and shots on target (two) than anyone else on the pitch, as well as playing a joint-high two key passes. 

The Portugal international's goal came from a Marcos Llorente assist, and Simeone can see signs of improvement in the attacking third, even if Atleti have failed to score more than once in any of their past four games. 

"It would not be fair to speak about the attacking players. Luis is missing through coronavirus, Diego is in his recovery phase and will be out for longer," he said. 

"The work we are doing is good, but we have to work harder on finishing situations. We are working on that in training. 

"The players are working hard and are in good shape. It is not easy having this forcefulness that will solve our issues. In these situations we will only improve. 

"I liked the move for the goal... [Yannick] Carrasco's pass to Llorente. We are already showing signs of more tranquility." 

Joao Felix agreed with head coach Simeone that chances created ultimately count for little unless they are converted. 

"We had more opportunities than them but did not take them," he said. "These things can happen in football. 

"We can have many opportunities but if we do not score them, they are worthless. They only had a few and one of them was enough to earn a draw." 

Bayern did not register an attempt on target in the first half - the first time that has happened in a Champions League group game since October 2009.  

But it was roles reversed after the restart as Atletico failed to test stand-in Bayern keeper Alexander Nubel - one of nine players brought into the visitors' starting line-up. 

"The first half was very good for us," Simeone added. "It was a beautiful goal, and we were close to a second but it just did not come. 

"Bayern are a strong side and won a penalty. Next week's game [with Salzburg] will now clearly be another final."

There was more grace, guile, poise and potency about Joao Felix than there was about any of Real Madrid's players on Tuesday.

Soon after Zinedine Zidane's troubled side were traipsing off the pitch in Kiev, reeling from a 2-0 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk that could spell the end of a 23-year run in the Champions League knockouts, Atletico Madrid and their Portuguese star were showing why they are LaLiga's best bet for the tournament in 2020-21.

Two years ago, Real Madrid won their third Champions League in a row, their own imperious Portuguese number seven at the head of a team that, if outplayed, would never be outfought, and would always have their talisman to bail them out of trouble.

There is still a team in the Spanish capital like that, but now it is one bedecked in red and white.

Atleti could not hold onto their lead against Champions League holders Bayern Munich, but Tuesday's 1-1 draw was still a positive enough result. Avoid defeat on matchday six in Salzburg, and Diego Simeone's side will be into the last 16. Unlike their city rivals, it's still in their hands.

Perhaps more importantly, the game at the Wanda Metropolitano was another showcase of Felix's growing influence. The young man who looked a €126million misfit last season is fast becoming Atleti's heartbeat.

This was far from the Bayern side that thrashed Atleti 4-0 on matchday one, that had won 15 Champions League matches in a row. Manuel Neuer, Leon Goretzka and Robert Lewandowski were rested; there was no Kingsley Coman, no Joshua Kimmich or Alphonso Davies, and Thomas Muller, whose penalty snatched a point, was a second-half substitute.

That should not detract from Felix's display, or the daunting fact that there is still more to come. The 21-year-old offered flashes of brilliance that showcased all of his best talents: an impudent backheel out of the air to set up a Yannick Carrasco shot, a graceful bit of juggling to spark a counter-attack, a thunderous shot that crashed off the crossbar.

There was also the darting run and composed finish to break the deadlock in the first half. He has now scored seven goals in seven starts for Atleti, as many as in his previous 29.

Felix at last looks a young man ready and willing to be Atletico's focal point. No player had more shots (three) or created more chances (two) in the match, while only Koke – reborn this season under Simeone – attempted more passes in the attacking half.

Felix also contested six aerial duels, more than anyone else, and won back possession four times. Not bad going for one of the smallest, slightest players on the pitch, and one previously decried as an expensive square peg in Simeone's unyielding system.

Atleti might not be certain of progressing but, unlike Madrid, they are at least moving forward. It's Felix who is lighting their way, and showing Zidane the very thing he is missing.

Atletico Madrid's hopes of qualifying from their Champions League group will go down to the final matchday after Thomas Muller scored an 86th-minute penalty to earn a weakened Bayern Munich a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Bayern had won their previous 15 games in UEFA's flagship competition but were already assured of top spot in Group A and left the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer out of their travelling squad.

With Lokomotiv Moscow losing 3-1 at home to Salzburg earlier on Tuesday, victory for Atleti would make certain of second place with a game to spare, an aim they were on course to achieve thanks to Joao Felix's eighth goal in 14 appearances this season.

The Portugal international converted from a Marcos Llorente cutback after 26 minutes, but Felipe - brought on for the injured Jose Gimenez - felled Muller in the box and his fellow substitute converted from 12 yards. 

Atleti must now avoid defeat away at Salzburg next week to join Bayern, unbeaten in 14 games in all competitions after Muller's late goal, in the last 16.

Robert Lewandowski is "the most complete" player in world football and should be named The Best FIFA Men's Player 2020, according to Lothar Matthaus.

Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski scored 55 goals in all competitions last season as Hansi Flick's side won the Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal.

Voting for the award considers achievements from July 20, 2019 to October 7, 2020, during which the Poland international also won the UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup with Bayern.

Lewandowski scored 15 goals and assisted five more as Bayern won all of their 2019-20 Champions League games and lifted the trophy, an achievement that will be central to his claim for the honour.

The 32-year-old's output far outstripped perennial contenders Cristiano Ronaldo (four goals, no assists) and Lionel Messi (three goals, three assists).

Bayern overcame Paris Saint-Germain in the final and their star duo of Neymar (three goals, four assists) and Kylian Mbappe (five goals, five assists) could not get anywhere near Lewandowski in the Champions League.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah – the only other attacker on the 11-man shortlist for the FIFA accolade – had four goals and two assists in last season's Champions League.

Lewandowski also had a better shot conversion rate (34.9 per cent) than any of those candidates and averaged 3.4 shots on target per 90 minutes – the most of any player to have featured more than four times.

"As the name suggests, there can only be one who is the best. That is Robert Lewandowski," Matthaus wrote in his Sky Sports column.

"He's no longer just the best number nine in the world. Robert is the most complete and best player there is in world football.

"With FC Bayern he has won the five big titles that can be won. Champions League, Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, DFL-Supercup and UEFA Super Cup. In addition, he was also the top scorer in the first three competitions mentioned.

"His rivals Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Mbappe are all fantastic players – just like Lewy. The difference is he has won every title there was to be won.

"Messi had a season without a trophy, Ronaldo became Italian champion, is still great, but not as strong as a few years ago."

Cristiano Ronaldo has been nominated for the UEFA Men's Team of the Year for a 17th successive year but unsurprisingly it is Champions League winners Bayern Munich who dominate.

UEFA announced its shortlist for fan voting on Tuesday and Bayern led the way in terms of nominations, with 10 players – including new Liverpool signing Thiago Alcantara – up for inclusion.

The 50-name shortlist was determined by UEFA on the basis of the players' respective performances in European and domestic competition throughout 2020.

Bayern claimed European club football's biggest prize for a sixth time in August, beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 at the Estadio da Luz as the Champions League's delayed latter stages were completed in Lisbon because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kingsley Coman, scorer of the winning goal in the final, is among the Bayern players nominated, while Robert Lewandowski – the top-scorer with 15 last term – seems a likely bet for a place in the final XI.

Ronaldo is present yet again, the 17th year in a row in which he has been nominated, as he hopes to extend his record of 14 inclusions in the line-up. He is four clear of Lionel Messi, who is also in the running again.

Alphonso Davies, 20, is the youngest nominee while the oldest is 36-year-old Thiago Silva, who helped PSG reach the Champions League final before joining Chelsea in pre-season.

The Premier League and Bundesliga are the most-represented leagues with 15 players to have at some point this year played in either division.

UEFA also revealed the shortlist for the Women's Team of the Year, with Women's Champions League winners Lyon having 13 players – including the since-departed Lucy Bronze – in contention.

Matchday five of the Champions League could mean qualification for the last 16 for some - and spell trouble for others.

Bayern Munich and Manchester City are already through, but their respective opponents, Atletico Madrid and Porto, could do with positive results.

Real Madrid recorded a valuable win at Inter last time out but must do better against Shakhtar Donetsk than they did on matchday one, while the Nerazzurri themselves know nothing but a victory at Borussia Monchengladbach will do.

Liverpool need just a point at home to Ajax to progress, but with injury problems mounting and a 2-0 home loss to Atalanta last week, their progress no longer looks to be such plain sailing.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid: Zidane's men aim to qualify against goal-shy opponents

Shakhtar's 3-2 win at Madrid was a serious shock, one that became more apparent as they lost their latest two games by four or more goals without scoring. Only Malmo and Red Star Belgrade have ever done so in three consecutive matches.

Indeed, Shakhtar have failed to score with each of their 23 shots since netting their third in the Spanish capital.

Madrid know a victory will guarantee their place in the knockouts for the 24th season in a row, a competition record. Their form might be inconsistent, but they have lost only one of their previous seven away games against Ukrainian opponents – a 2-0 defeat to Dynamo Kiev – since March 1999.

 

Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich: Holders could match club record – but without Lewandowski

Bayern Munich will match a club-record seven away wins in a row in the Champions League with victory at Atletico Madrid. They have won their previous six by an aggregate score of 27-7.

Diego Simeone has lost three of his five meetings with Bayern in this competition, but Atleti have only been beaten once at home in Europe in their previous 24 games.

Robert Lewandowski needs just one goal to surpass Raul in the all-time goalscoring list in the tournament, having reached 71 against Salzburg. However, with the striker missing this contest, Atleti may fancy their chances of beating Bayern at home for the third time in a row.

Borussia Monchengladbach v Inter: Can Conte fix his Champions League woes?

Since losing the first meeting in 1971, Borussia Monchengladbach have gone four games unbeaten against Inter.

This season marks the first occasion Inter have ever failed to win any of their opening four Champions League matches, and they are at risk of losing three in a row in the group stage for the first time.

Indeed, Antonio Conte has won only 20 per cent of his Champions League games in charge of the Nerazzurri, the lowest ratio of any of his predecessors over at least five games in the competition. Fail to win in Germany, and Inter are out.

 

Porto v Manchester City: Imperious defence meets clinical attack

Porto have lost three games in a row against Manchester City 9-2 on aggregate and are winless in five previous meetings with English opponents.

Pep Guardiola's side have already kept three clean sheets this term, one more than they managed in nine Champions League matches in 2019-20.

Porto, however, have scored with 25.8 per cent of their shots this season, a tally only bettered by Gladbach (28.6 per cent).

Liverpool v Ajax: Mane must find magic touch

Ajax and Liverpool have not met at Anfield since 1966-67, when the Eredivisie side won the tie 7-3 on aggregate. That was the last occasion the Reds lost to a Dutch side (they have played 14 such games since).

Ajax are unbeaten in 11 away games in the Champions League, their best run since March 1997, and they have not lost in their latest five visits to England in this competition.

Liverpool, who need a point to progress, could do with Sadio Mane finding form. The forward has scored only once at home in his previous 10 appearances in this tournament, going 426 minutes without finding the net in that run.

 

Other fixtures:

Lokomotiv Moscow v Salzburg

20 – Of the 20 shots attempted between these sides in their matchday-one meeting – which ended in a 2-2 draw - 15 of them were by Salzburg. Indeed, Lokomotiv Moscow scored twice from just three shots on target in the game.

50 – Since the start of last season, Salzburg's 10 games in the Champions League group stages have seen 50 goals scored (23 for, 27 against), the most of any club. Salzburg have won just two of those 10 games (D2 L6).

 

Atalanta v Midtjylland

3 – Midtjylland have lost all three of their previous games against Italian opponents in European competition, conceding 13 goals and scoring just one in reply.

1 – Atalanta have only failed to score in one of their last 12 games in the Champions League (25 goals in total), although this did come in their most recent home game in the competition, losing by five goals to Liverpool.

 

Marseille v Olympiacos

13 – Marseille have lost their last 13 Champions League matches – a competition record – scoring just six goals and conceding 29.

10 – The Ligue 1 side (six) and Olympiacos (eight) are the only two teams in the Champions League in 2020-21 yet to attempt at least 10 shots on target, with the Greek team managing just one across their previous two matches against Man City.

Luis Suarez has been left out of Atletico Madrid's squad for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich after returning another positive coronavirus test.

The Uruguay international has missed Atletico's last three matches, including a reunion with former club Barcelona, after contracting COVID-19 while away with his country.

Despite Suarez not featuring on the 22-man squad list published by Atletico on Monday, however, head coach Diego Simeone is not completely ruling out the striker.

"This virus is strange. It is possible that tomorrow he tests negative and is fit. He has been training and wants to help the team," Simeone said at his pre-match news conference.

"We will have to wait and see what happens and then inform you. I spoke to him yesterday and he felt good, wanting to be with the rest of the team.

"The most important thing is he is well. If he doesn't play tomorrow he will play on Saturday."

Suarez had been in fine form for Atletico before being ruled out, scoring five goals in his first six LaLiga appearances after joining from Barca for a nominal fee in September.

The 33-year-old's 1.2 goals per 90 minutes is the highest of any player in the division to have played at least three matches, with Valencia's Manu Vallejo (1.02) next best.

His six league goals have come from 22 shots, eight of those on target, both being the most of any Atleti player this season.

Bayern are also without key players for the Group A clash, meanwhile, as Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso have not made the trip to the Spanish capital.

Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich are unavailable for a Bayern side already assured of top spot, but Simeone insists the competition holders cannot be taken lightly.

"The squad selection is a decision made by the Bayern coach," he said. "This Bayern side understand how to compete in each game they play.

"They have very good players and have almost all of their attackers available, with lots of goals in the side. That is a great strength that they have."

Atletico have picked up five points from the same number of games and are two ahead of third-place Lokomotiv Moscow, who host Salzburg on Tuesday.

Bayern won the reverse fixture with Atleti 4-0 last month but Simeone wants to see his side take the game to their opponents and remain on course for a place in the last 16.

"In football you need forcefulness," he said. "After two draws, one loss and one victory, our margin is short. We are in need of points.

"Whatever the results have been in the previous games, we have to look at where we can do damage against Bayern."

Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer will miss Bayern Munich's Champions League visit to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, head coach Hansi Flick confirmed. 

Poland international Lewandowski, who has scored 15 goals across all competitions this season, has sustained an unspecified injury, while it appears 34-year-old Neuer has been rested with Bayern's progression to the last 16 as group winners already secured. 

Flick also confirmed the injured Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso will remain in Germany alongside long-term absentees Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich. 

Holders Bayern sealed their place in the knockout stages with a 3-1 win over Salzburg last week, securing a fourth victory from four Group A games. 

Atletico, however, have a fight on their hands to join the Bundesliga side, with Diego Simeone's men picking up just five points from the same number of games to sit two ahead of third-place Lokomotiv Moscow.

They boast a strong record at home, though, with a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in September 2017 their only reverse in their last 24 matches in the Spanish capital.

Flick knows his side have their work cut out if they are to equal their longest run of consecutive away wins in the competition of seven. 

"It will be a challenge for all of us," he said. "The team is second in LaLiga and they have the best defence and the second best offence. 

"The coach has been working for this team for years and is always taking it to a new level. It is a pleasure for us to play against Atletico in Madrid.

"The team that copes best with the conditions will be successful. We take it seriously when a player is not 100 per cent fit. The squad for Madrid is selected so that every player is 100 per cent fit.

"There will be important games in the next two and a half weeks so we have to stay on the ball."

With Neuer not travelling, Flick reavealed 24-year-old Alexander Nubel will start in goal. 

Nubel joined the club on a free transfer from Schalke ahead of the 2020-21 season and has featured in just one game so far this term, keeping a clean sheet in Bayern's 3-0 DFB-pokal win over Duren Merzenich. 

The highly rated Nubel, who kept five clean sheets in the Bundesliga last season for Schalke, is tipped to eventually take over from Neuer and could be set for a busy game given Bayern have faced 10 or more shots on target in each of their last two Champions League games.

Flick, though, expects him to show his potential. 

"It will be that Alexander plays," he said. "He shows his quality in training and now he can show his quality in the Champions League."

Paulo Dybala to Paris Saint-Germain?

Dybala, previously linked to Manchester United, Tottenham and PSG, is reportedly facing an uncertain future in Turin.

Juventus could be prepared to exchange players with PSG.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA OUT, ICARDI IN?

Juventus are considering a swap deal that would send Paulo Dybala to Paris Saint-Germain in exchange for Mauro Icardi, according to Calciomercato.

Dybala has struggled for form in 2020-21, while contract negotiations with Serie A champions Juve have so far proved fruitless.

Icardi was linked to Juve prior to joining Ligue 1 holders PSG permanently from Inter and the Argentina forward could swap clubs with Dybala.

 

ROUND-UP

- TodoFichajes says Arsenal are set to make an offer for RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate. Leipzig centre-back and team-mate Dayot Upamecano has dominated headlines amid links to the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but Konate is also attracting interest.

Juve are eyeing a move for Atletico Madrid centre-back Stefan Savic, reports Calciomercato. Savic has also been linked to Inter.

- A Bola claims Premier League champions Liverpool are interested in signing Sporting CP left-back Nuno Mendes.

Raul Jimenez to Inter? Calciomercato says Inter could replace Lautaro Martinez with the Wolves star. Martinez has been linked to Barca and Manchester City.

Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller surprisingly referenced Stoke City after the Bundesliga champions defeated Stuttgart 3-1.

Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Douglas Costa scored following Tanguy Coulibaly's opener as Bayern overcame hosts Stuttgart on Saturday.

Bayern claimed their 65th Bundesliga win against Stuttgart, while the titleholders have now conceded at least one goal in seven consecutive games in all competitions for the first time under head coach Hansi Flick.

After Bayern stayed two points clear atop the table, Muller referenced the term "can they do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke" – an expression made famous by commentator Andy Gray in 2010-11.

Muller – via BT Sport – said: "How do the British people say it? You have to show it on a windy night in Stoke?

"Today it was not windy and Stuttgart is not Stoke but Stuttgart is a team that plays very well in the last few weeks.

"We knew that today it could be tough. We didn't have a good start in the first half, we hit the post and then we [conceded] the goal.

"But we turned it around, put everything in that we had and we won.

"It's ok that we won but you are right when you say it was tough. It was not our best performance and not our easiest style of football.

"But in the end it was three points in the pocket and the show must go on."

Bayern have scored 31 goals in the first nine games of the season, matching the Bundesliga record set by Eintracht Frankfurt in 1974-75.

Costa scored his first Bundesliga goal since March 2017, having re-joined Bayern from Juventus at the start of the season. It was already the fifth Bayern goal scored by a substitute – a league high.

Bayern Munich are top of the Bundesliga but coach Hansi Flick does not feel his side are worthy of any style points, joking their current form will not see them receive a "beauty award". 

The champions returned to winning ways in the Bundesliga on Saturday following last weekend's draw with Werder Bremen, coming from behind to beat Stuttgart 3-1 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. 

Tanguy Coulibaly handed the hosts a 20th-minute lead with his first professional goal but Bayern stormed back to claim all three points through fine strikes from Kingsley Coman and Robert Lewandowski before the break and a late third from Douglas Costa.

Stuttgart had 15 shots on goal to Bayern's 13 and caused problems throughout for a side they have now lost to in all but one of their 20 competitive matches. 

The result moves Bayern two points clear at the summit following Borussia Dortmund's home defeat to Cologne, yet Flick still wants to see more from his side. 

"We all know that we are currently not getting a beauty award," he told a media conference. 

"So, it was very important today that we found our way back into the game after falling behind and took the points back to Munich. But we also know that we can play a lot better.

"I know that the team is at the limit right now."

At the heart of Bayern's win was a dominant display in midfield by Leon Gortezka. 

Starting his sixth Bundesliga game of the season, the former Schalke man completed 90.9 per cent of his passes - making him the most accurate outfield starter on the pitch - and made four interceptions and 11 possession gains, with both of those tallies the highest of any Bayern player. 

Flick has been impressed with the 25-year-old's leadership qualities and believes he has been a superb deputy for Joshua Kimmich, who suffered a knee injury against Dortmund earlier this month that will keep him out of action until 2021.

"He is currently a player in midfield who is helping to compensate for Joshua Kimmich's absence," the Bayern boss added. 

"He is loud and takes the team with him. These are the things I like. He is currently in the process of showing his leadership qualities again and again in the game."

Bayern Munich returned to winning ways in the Bundesliga as goals from Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Douglas Costa sealed a 3-1 victory over Stuttgart on Saturday.

The champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Werder Bremen last weekend and although normal service was resumed at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, they did not have it all their own way against Pellegrino Matarazzo's side. 

Stuttgart could easily have added to Tanguy Coulibaly's opener midway through the first half but Hansi Flick's men powered back to claim maximum points through fine strikes from Coman and Lewandowski before the break and a late third from Douglas.

The result means Bayern have won 26 of their last 29 top-flight games and helped them open a two-point lead at the Bundesliga summit after Borussia Dortmund dropped points at home to Cologne.

Bayern, who hit the post through Lewandowksi after three minutes, fell behind in the 20th minute when Manuel Neuer failed to cut out Silas Wamangituka's low cross, allowing Coulibaly to slot home his first ever professional goal.

Philipp Forster twice came close to extending the hosts' lead soon after, clipping narrowly past the post from close range and then firing straight at Neuer after being played clean through.

Those misses came back to haunt Stuttgart, with Bayern drawing level seven minutes before the interval when Coman tucked into the bottom-left corner after a flowing counter-attacking move.

Forster then had an effort ruled out after Coulibaly had fouled Neuer before Lewandowski put Bayern ahead in first-half stoppage time, the Poland international drilling past Gregor Kobel from just outside the penalty area.

The game slowed down dramatically after the restart, with the next sight of goal not coming until the 72nd minute when Orel Mangala's attempt was deflected narrowly wide.

Waldemar Anton and Mateo Klimowicz then went close for Stuttgart but Douglas ensured a 19th win in 20 games for Bayern over their hosts three minutes from time, clipping into the bottom corner from 15 yards for his first goal since returning to the club on loan from Juventus.

Page 1 of 53
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.