Robert Lewandowski was happy to see Bayern Munich show their gritty side ahead of a Bundesliga showdown with leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

The Polish striker scored both goals in a hard-fought 2-1 win home over Wolfsburg on Wednesday which kept Bayern a point behind Leverkusen in second place.

Lewandowski's brace saw him become only the third player in Bundesliga history to pass 250 goals after Gerd Muller (365) and Klaus Fischer (268), though he is the first non-German to achieve the feat.

Hansi Flick's side face Leverkusen on Saturday in a top-of-the-table clash which will decide which team lead the standings for the subsequent mid-season break.

"I'm happy that I scored twice today and that we got three points," Lewandowski told reporters.

"We didn't play the perfect football in the first half, but we had a little more consistency in the second half. Wolfsburg played very well.

"The recent period has not been easy, but we now have one more game and then a short break."

Maximilian Philipp put the visitors ahead at the Allianz Arena with a clinical finish after a mistake by Leroy Sane.

It meant Bayern have trailed in six consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time since 2008-09 under Jurgen Klinsmann - although they have avoided defeat on each occasion - and Lewandowski urged his team-mates to be sharp from the kick-off against Leverkusen.

"We have to push in the last game, no matter how good Leverkusen is at the moment," he added.

"We have to show our game and try everything to win the last game. We have to be awake from the start and not just when we concede the first goal."

Wolfsburg have now won none of their 24 Bundesliga away games at Bayern (drawn two, lost 22). In the history of the competition, no side has ever played as often at one opponent without tasting victory.

And Bayern head coach Flick dedicated his side's latest victory over Wolfsburg to his mother, Traudel, as he praised the approach shown by his players.

"I promised my mother, whose birthday is today, three points. So I am satisfied," Flick told a media conference afterwards.

"We want to finish a great and very successful 2020 in Leverkusen with three more points if possible

"The mentality has to be right and that was the case against Wolfsburg, so we deserved the win.

"We played against a team that was of very good quality. For the neutral viewer it was a lively game. After falling behind, we fought our way back well.

"The equaliser before the break was an important one. You could tell that we really wanted to win against Wolfsburg."

Robert Lewandowski scored his 250th Bundesliga goal as Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Wolfsburg 2-1 and keep the pressure on Bayer Leverkusen.

Maximilian Philipp had put Wolfsburg ahead at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday with a clinical finish after a mistake by Leroy Sane.

But Lewandowski headed in just before the break to reach the milestone and then added a decisive second early in the second half with a controlled finish.

Visitors Wolfsburg were unbeaten so far this season but saw that record ended as Bayern survived a late onslaught to remain a point behind leaders Leverkusen, 4-0 winners at Cologne.

Wolfsburg took the lead when Sane tried to control in the box rather than clear his lines, allowing Kevin Mbabu to cross for Philipp, who hooked the ball into the net.

Josip Brekalo soon whistled a shot just past the post, which finally sparked Bayern into life as Lewandowski saw a close-range effort kept out by a superb last-ditch block from Maxence Lacroix before Serge Gnabry headed over from a good position.

Wolfsburg maintained a threat of their own and almost had a spectacular second after 29 minutes when Philipp's volley was deflected into the side-netting.

But Bayern levelled on the stroke of half-time as Kingsley Coman curled the ball into the box for Lewandowski, left unmarked to head past Koen Casteels for his landmark goal.

The Bayern man had his second early in the second half when Lacroix slipped as he tried to clear Jerome Boateng's long pass, setting Lewandowski clear to arrow the ball into the corner of the net.

Philipp continued to be the focus of Wolfsburg's attacking play and saw an unconventional volleyed effort go wide from just outside the box.

And Bayern were indebted to a pair of brilliant late saves from Manuel Neuer as he expertly tipped over a shot from Bartosz Bialek and then parried a blast from the same man from the corner that followed.

Robert Lewandowski scored his 250th Bundesliga goal in Bayern Munich's game against Wolfsburg at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

Bayern striker Lewandowski reached the landmark with a header on the stroke of half-time to cancel out Maximilian Philipp's early opener.

The 32-year-old is only the third player in Bundesliga history to reach the landmark after Gerd Muller (365) and Klaus Fischer (268), though he is the first non-German to achieve the feat.

Lewandowski required 332 games to hit the total, making him quicker than Fischer (460) but not as rapid as Bayern great Muller (284).

The Poland international scored his first 74 Bundesliga goals across 131 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, with his 176 for Bayern taking just 201 matches.

Lewandowski appears to prefer the comforts of home, with 150 of his efforts coming on his own patch compared to 100 in away games.

It is not often Lewandowski finds himself on the bench, but in the 37 appearances he has made as a substitute, he has scored 16 goals.

Of his 250 goals, 43 were left-footed, 164 right-footed and 41 headed, with two more scored with other parts of his body.

There were 16 scored from outside the box and 234 inside - including 29 penalties.

Lewandowski's landmark effort was his 22nd in 20 Bundesliga games versus Wolfsburg, the most he has netted against any one opponent.

Joshua Kimmich needs to listen to his body and decide whether he is physically and psychologically ready to return to action, according to Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick.

The 25-year-old has not featured for Bayern since November 7 when he suffered a right lateral meniscus injury against Borussia Dortmund.

He was not expected to play again until late January at the earliest after undergoing surgery but returned to light training earlier this month and was involved in a full session on Monday.

With Leon Goretzka joining Javi Martinez on the sidelines, Kimmich could return to action ahead of schedule in Wednesday's Bundesliga clash with Wolfsburg.

Flick will let the versatile midfielder have the final say on his selection as Bayern look to extend their 13-match unbeaten run against visitors Wolfsburg in all competitions.

"Joshua needs to listen to his body and see how his knee copes with the strain," Flick said at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

"Playing after an injury like that is just as much a psychological thing, though. He needs to weigh it all up and then we can decide together whether he can play."

Bayern have won five and lost one of the six league games Kimmich has started this term - an 83 per cent win rate, which falls to 40 per cent in the five games he has missed (two wins and three draws).

He has a goal and four assists in those six league games, creating 12 chances in all, and has completed an average of 40.8 passes in the opposition half per 90 minutes - second only to Borussia Dortmund's Raphael Guerreiro (48.95).

Asked if Kimmich would replace Goretzka, Flick said: "There are several possibilities and you are welcome to puzzle over them."

Bayern's recent wobble continued at the weekend as they dropped points in the league for the third time in four matches in a 1-1 draw with Union Berlin.

Robert Lewandowski scored at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei to take his tally for the season to 13 goals in 10 Bundesliga appearances.

He is the favourite to be crowned The Best FIFA Men's Player for 2020 later this week and Flick has once again thrown his support behind the prolific Poland international.

"It would be nice if he could add a goal or two tomorrow," Flick said. "Obviously, being elected world footballer on Thursday is his big dream.

"There is no one who has deserved it this season as much as Robert.

"The whole team, the club and the fans keep their fingers crossed for him that this will come true, and we'll all be happy if he wins the vote."

Kingsley Coman is Bayern Munich's difference maker and is not for sale, the German giants' CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has insisted.

The France winger scored the winner in last season's Champions League final victory over Paris Saint-Germain and has carried his form from the tail end of 2019-20 into this campaign.

He has a combined 13 goals and assists in 12 Bundesliga and Champions League matches, including a hat-trick of assists in the recent 3-3 draw with RB Leipzig.

Manchester United were linked with the 24-year-old in the most recent transfer window but Rummenigge has stressed the European champions have no plans to cash in on a player under contract until 2023.

"Kingsley is an absolute top player today, and is extremely valuable for FC Bayern," he told Kicker.

"He often makes the difference, just when it counts the most. Kingsley is not for sale."

Coman has endured a number of injury setbacks during his career and previously revealed he contemplated retiring in 2018.

And during another spell on the sidelines last season prior to his Champions League final joy, Rummenigge had to offer some words of support to the ex-PSG and Juventus star.

"I hugged him and told him that injuries are part of the game, especially in modern football and that our medical department would do everything to ensure that he would soon be back on the field in top shape," he said.

"Fortunately, that's exactly how it turned out."

Coman has created 15 chances for team-mates in eight league appearances this term at an average of 2.45 per 90 minutes - up from 1.97 in 2019-20.

"I was aware that I still had room for improvement in the crucial moments before the goal, be it at the finish or the decisive pass," Coman told the German outlet. 

"Since the restart after the corona break, I have been able to implement it well so far and of course I still try to stay dangerous."

Coman's 0.98 big chances created per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga this term compares favourably to fellow wingers Leroy Sane (0.92) and Serge Gnabry (0.64).

Asked if the intense competition for a starting place has made him a better player, he said: "I play for a top club and it becomes clear that I'm only surrounded by top players. 

"I really like that because this is the only way we can achieve our goals. My situation hasn't changed much in the past few years. 

"When I came to Bayern, my competitors were Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. Of course, the competition incites us all and only takes us further."

Hansi Flick feels Bayern Munich paid for the price for being too conservative in the first half of their 1-1 draw against Union Berlin and acknowledged his side "can definitely play better".

The Bundesliga champions trailed after just four minutes of Saturday's contest at Alte Forsterei as Grischa Promel headed the underdogs into a shock lead.

Robert Lewandowski's 16th goal in as many games this season levelled proceedings just after the hour but Bayern were unable to find a winner in an entertaining clash.

"The first few minutes we were not present on the pitch as we had wanted to be. We could have defended better when we conceded the goal, without question," head coach Flick said in quotes reported by Bayern's official website.

"When the first ball becomes dangerous, our composure is not there. We played the safe pass or a long ball. I wasn't too happy with that. We addressed that during the break.

"We wanted to play with more composure and occupy space better in the second half, to have men over. I was more satisfied with the second half. We can definitely play better.

"Our idea is to put the opponent under pressure. Today we weren't able to implement it as we had planned. It will be a difficult season, we knew that in advance.

"Now we have to take the positives from the situation and improve on the things that didn't go so well."

Bayern, who are top of the table on goal difference ahead of RB Leipzig after 11 games, have now fallen behind in each of their past five Bundesliga matches - a trend forward Thomas Muller is keen to buck.

"We've often gone a goal down recently. It happened very early today. Union fought hard and played man-to-man," Muller said.

"We made life difficult for ourselves, especially in the first 20 minutes. We need momentum again and to bounce back again.

"We have the quality, mentally too, but of course it just happens that we not winning but rather drawing matches. It feels too little given our ambitions."

Robert Lewandowski's strike sent Bayern Munich back to the top of the Bundesliga but the European champions had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Union Berlin.

Grischa Promel's early header put Union in front at Stadion An der Alten Forsterei on Saturday, but they were unable to consign Bayern to what would have been a first defeat in 17 matches.

Lewandowski's 16th goal in as many games this season brought Hansi Flick's side level and neither team could force a winner in a pulsating contest.

The defending champions have now drawn three of their past four Bundesliga games but sit at the summit above RB Leipzig on goal difference.

Union stunned Bayern by taking the lead inside four minutes, Promel glancing Christopher Trimmel's inviting corner just inside the far post for his first goal since May 2019.

Taiwo Awoniyi spurned a glorious chance to double their lead when he dragged a left-foot finish just wide with only Manuel Neuer to beat after a mistake from Alphonso Davies.

Lewandowski wanted a penalty when he felt Marvin Friedrich had brought him down as he was about to pull the trigger and Andreas Luthe palmed away Serge Gnabry's rasping drive - Bayern's first shot on target - late in an entertaining first half, in which Union lost Marcus Ingvartsen to injury.

Luthe spread himself superbly to deny Kingsley Coman before Neuer had to be alert when Awoniyi was almost picked out by a clever ball over the top.

Sheraldo Becker dragged a shot wide as Union continued to pose a threat, but Lewandowski finished clinically first time from close to the penalty spot to level after Coman pulled the ball back following a great run down the left.

Keita Endo wasted a chance to put Union back in front and Luthe produced a great late reflex save to keep out Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's late header as the two sides had to settle for a point.

Erling Haaland loved watching Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo as a youngster, according to his father.

Since making his Borussia Dortmund debut last January following his arrival from Salzburg, Haaland has scored 33 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions to establish himself as one of Europe's leading strikers.

The 20-year-old Norway international – who won the 2020 Golden Boy award – looked up to former Swansea City forward Michu, but his father Alf-Inge Haaland revealed he particularly liked watching the most prolific players.

"He was a born striker. He loved the strikers who scored a lot of goals, but two in particular: Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo," Haaland Sr told Tuttosport, the newspaper that organises the Golden Boy award. "He also had a soft spot for Mario Balotelli during his time with Manchester City.

"He is never satisfied with himself and trains continuously because he wants to become the best.

"He's super focused and lives for football and scoring goals. If he scores two goals and is substituted, he goes off angry because he wanted to stay on the pitch and try to score another goal.

"With that mentality he combines good technique, excellent timing and an innate ability to understand where the ball will arrive in the area. This is why he scores so many goals."

Among players in the top five European leagues, only Ronaldo (37) and Robert Lewandowski (40) have scored more goals in all competitions than Haaland in 2020.

Haaland shot to prominence with eight goals in the 2019-20 Champions League group stage and on average finds the back of the net in the competition every 56 minutes - the best ratio of all players to have scored at least 10.

He consequently continues to be linked with a move to the world's elite clubs and Haaland Sr admitted his son is always keen to test himself as much as possible.

"He is very happy there [Dortmund], but Erling loves challenges and in football you never know in advance what the future holds. We'll see," he said.

Haaland will be unable to add to his tally again this season, having been ruled out until January with a hamstring issue.

Erling Haaland continues to dominate headlines.

Haaland's exploits for Borussia Dortmund has reportedly attracted interest from Europe's elite.

Will he decide between the two Manchester giants?



Manchester United and neighbours Manchester City are set to go head-to-head to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland , according to the Daily Mail.

Haaland is one of the most sought-after players in Europe, linked with Real Madrid , Liverpool , Barcelona , Bayern Munich , City and United.

The Norway international snubbed United for Dortmund in January but the Red Devils remain interested, while City view Haaland as a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero .



- The Guardian reports Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai  is poised to join sister club RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga. Arsenal , Milan , Inter and Napoli have all been linked to the 20-year-old, but Leipzig are set to pay his €25million release clause in January.

Inter are interested in Udinese duo Rodrigo De Paul and Juan Musso , claims Calciomercato. Musso is seen a long-term replacement for Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, while the Nerazzurri must raise funds if they are to prise De Paul from Udinese.

- Marca says Bayern star David Alaba is edging closer to a move to Madrid . Alaba is out of contract at season's end, with the likes of Barca , City , Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain targeting the Austria international.

- Bild reports United midfielder Paul Pogba is putting pressure on agent Mino Raiola to find a new club, otherwise he will seek a new representative. Former club Juventus are reportedly favourites to lure Pogba back to Turin amid speculation of a swap deal involving either Paulo Dybala or Cristiano Ronaldo . Madrid are also a possible destination.

Manchester United, Inter and Ajax were the big Champions League casualties as the group stage wrapped up - but who have been the stars of the show so far?

Unsurprisingly, Erling Haaland featured prominently, scoring half of Borussia Dortmund's goals as they topped Group F.

But what should we make of Lionel Messi, whose three goals all came from the penalty spot for Barcelona? And were Inter incredibly unlucky to bow out?

Using Opta data, we took a closer look at how Europe's elite performed.

Haaland's hammer blows

The Norwegian's left foot is about the deadliest weapon in world football at the moment and it comes as no surprise to see him topping the scoring charts with six goals in four games.

That put him alongside Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar, United's Marcus Rashford and Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, all of whom played more games and minutes than the Dortmund marksman.

Five of Haaland's goals came from his trusty left boot, and it continued his rich vein of form in Europe after he hit eight goals in six group games for Salzburg last season and two for Dortmund in the knockouts. The 20-year-old's Champions League goals this season have come at one every 57.5 minutes, and among players to have scored more than twice that minutes-per-goal mark was second only to Chelsea's Olivier Giroud (five goals, one every 28.4 minutes).

Yet when it came to overall goal involvements in this term's group stage, it was another Bundesliga star who led the way in Europe, with Alassane Plea of Borussia Monchengladbach tallying eight - five goals and three assists.

Germany had a productive group stage as Dortmund, Gladbach, RB Leipzig and holders Bayern Munich all reached the last 16 - the first time four teams from the Bundesliga have advanced since the 2014-15 season (Bayer Leverkusen, Dortmund, Schalke, Bayern).

Haaland would have been disappointed to see Salzburg bow out, however, with the Austrian side becoming just the second team to score 16 or more goals in the first group stage yet be eliminated, after Chelsea in the 2012-13 campaign.

Messi's mixed bag

For the first time since registering his first Champions League goal in 2005-06, Messi failed to score from open play in the group stage.

From highs of eight open-play goals in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons, his number crashed to zero this time even though Barcelona qualified with ease for the knockout stage.

The 33-year-old Argentinian stuck away a group-stage high of three penalties - a total matched by Chelsea's Timo Werner and Lazio striker Ciro Immobile - to ensure it was not a complete goal famine.

Going goalless was not for the want of trying - Messi had seven shots on target in this week's 3-0 defeat to Juventus, which is more than any other player has had in a Champions League game without scoring since at least 2003-04.

He also created more chances across the six games than any other player, with Messi's total of 16 putting him one ahead of Ajax's Dusan Tadic and United's Bruno Fernandes, both of whom only have Europa League football to enjoy in the new year.

Of those chances, however, only two gave Messi assists. Leading the way on that score was Juventus' Juan Cuadrado, who set up five goals.

Barcelona created more chances than any other team (84), followed by Real Madrid (77), Sevilla and Bayern (both 73). Eventual champions Bayern had 106 chances in the group stage last year, as they set the high standard they maintained all the way through the competition.

Barcelona also had the most opportunities defined by Opta as 'big chances' over this season's six rounds of games, with 26. They converted 46.15 per cent of those openings, which ranked them eighth among teams to have at least 15 – United led the way by scoring from 68.75 per cent of their 16 such opportunities.

Were Inter framed?

Inter could not get the winner against Shakhtar Donetsk this week that would have carried them through to the last 16, with Lautaro Martinez hitting the bar early on, extending his run of bad luck.

The Argentine striker hit the goal frame four times in the group stage, more than any other player and the most by anyone across an entire Champions League season since Robert Lewandowski struck the woodwork five times for Bayern during 2016-17.

Martinez only scored once as Inter bowed out, unlike Lewandowski who put away eight goals in nine games during that campaign.

Inter hit the woodwork seven times in total over their six games, the joint-highest number along with Real Madrid.

While Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Porto have already secured their place in the Champions League knockout stages, some big names are in danger of a shock elimination.

After making history by leading Real Madrid to three straight Champions League titles during his first stint as head coach, Zinedine Zidane is on the verge of another first that could well place his future at the club in serious jeopardy.

Inter are also fighting for their future in the competition, as are Atletico Madrid and semi-finalists from the past two campaigns Ajax and Atalanta.

Ahead of what is sure to be a thrilling finale to the group stage, we take a look at the best stats courtesy of Opta.


Midtjylland v Liverpool: A first in reach for Reds

Jurgen Klopp's men are already guaranteed to finish top of Group D but victory over bottom side Midtjylland will see them register five wins in a single Champions League group stage for the first time.

Their form on matchday six in the competition is strong too. They have triumphed in each of their past three final group stage matches by an aggregate score of 10-0.

Taking three points would see the Reds become just the third Premier League side, after Chelsea in 2003-04 and Manchester United in 2010-11, to win all three of their away games in the group stage.

Should Caoimhin Kelleher be given another opportunity between the posts, he could become the first Liverpool goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in their first two Champions League starts.

Salzburg v Atletico Madrid: Shoot-out for progression

Atletico will be looking to avoid just a second exit at this stage in their eighth campaign in the competition under Diego Simeone.

They will need to be wary of Salzburg forward Mergim Berisha, who has scored four goals in as many Champions League starts for the club this season – only Erling Haaland (eight in 2019-20) has scored more for the Austrian side in a single campaign in Europe's premier club competition.

Enock Mwepu will be another threat for the visitors, having attempted six shots and created four chances in Salzburg's 3-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow last time out.

Ahead of matchday six, only two players had been directly involved in more shots in a Champions League game this season – Lionel Messi and Munir El Haddad played a part in 11 against Ferencvaros and Krasnodar respectively.

Real Madrid v Borussia Monchengladbach: Blancos on the brink

A win will see Zidane's struggling Madrid into the knockout rounds and avoid the ignominy of suffering their first Champions League group stage exit after 28 consecutive progressions.

The drop-off this season can be seen in the fact their defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk last time out was Madrid's fourth in their past seven matches in the competition – they only lost five of their first 39 Champions League games under Zidane (W25 D9).

Goals should be expected at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, with the previous five meetings between the teams seeing 20 goals scored with 10 apiece.

Gladbach just need to avoid defeat to advance and some game time for Alassane Plea would likely help them achieve that; he has been directly involved in eight goals (five scored, three assisted) in his five Champions League appearances at an average of one every 45 minutes.

Inter v Shakhtar Donetsk: Conte's San Siro woe

Failure to win against high-flying Shakhtar at San Siro will see Inter bow out at the group stage for a third consecutive season. Before this run, they had advanced from 11 of their 12 pool appearances (including the second group stage) in the competition.

Shakhtar may have beaten Madrid twice but they have a goal difference of minus seven; the only teams to have advanced with such a record after five games are Galatasaray in 2013-14 and Atalanta in 2019-20.

Inter will therefore be hoping Romelu Lukaku can help get them over the line. The Belgium striker has played a role in 17 goals in his 15 European matches for the Nerazzurri, including scoring a double in a 5-0 success over the Ukrainian side in last season's Europa League semi-final.

A strong performance from Lukaku would go a significant way to ensuring Antonio Conte does not become the first Inter coach to oversee a Champions League group stage campaign without a home win.

Other fixtures:

Ajax v Atalanta

2 - Ajax are unbeaten in their last seven games against Italian opponents in the Champions League, but five of these have ended in draws. They must win to reach the last 16.

4 - Atalanta went winless at home in the Champions League group stage this season (D2 L1), yet will qualify for the knockout rounds if they avoid defeat here. It will be just the fourth time a team has picked up as little as two points at home in a group stage and still qualified for the next round, after Roma in 2002-03 and Milan in both 2009-10 and 2012-13.

Bayern Munich v Lokomotiv Moscow

13 - Bayern drew 1-1 against Atletico in their most recent Champions League outing – the first time they failed to win in the competition under Hansi Flick after he oversaw 12 straight victories.

1 - Lokomotiv have drawn both of their away games in the Champions League this season and have never previously gone unbeaten away from home in a single season in the competition.

Manchester City v Marseille

16 – If City beat Marseille they will have accrued 16 points in the Champions League group stage this season, the joint-most of any English side in a single campaign along with Arsenal in 2005-06 (finalists), Manchester United in 2007-08 (winners), and Tottenham in 2017-18 (last 16).

8 - Marseille have lost each of their past seven away games in the Champions League and another defeat here would see them record their worst ever losing run on the road in the competition.

Olympiacos v Porto

100 - Olympiacos have won all three of their home Champions League matches against Porto, in three successive seasons between 1997 and 1999 – it is their best 100 per cent record on their own patch against any side in the competition.

4 - Porto have kept a clean sheet in four consecutive Champions League matches since conceding three goals away to Manchester City in October – the last side to record five or more consecutive shutouts in the competition was Juventus in 2016-17. Manchester City are also on a run of four.

Alphonso Davies will return to the Bayern Munich squad for the Champions League clash against Lokomotiv Moscow.

Head coach Hansi Flick is yet to decide whether the Canada international will start Wednesday's home Group A encounter or begin as a substitute.

Davies, 20, has been out of action for over six weeks due to a serious ankle injury.

He has not played since being replaced in the early stages of the 5-0 Bundesliga win over Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24.

With holders Bayern already assured of first place in the group, Davies can return in a match without the usual level of pressure.

His return comes after Javi Martinez was ruled out for the foreseeable future, while Joshua Kimmich is yet to return.

"Alphonso Davies will be back in the squad on Wednesday, which is good news – very gratifying," said Flick.

"We are planning to play him, but we have not yet decided if he will start or come off the bench.

"I'm not really worried about our midfield - alongside Leon Goretzka we will have Marc Roca, Angelo Stiller and Maximilian Zaiser in the squad.

"Corentin Tolisso trained really well on Tuesday, so he could be an option for Saturday [when Bayern play against Union Berlin], which would really help us."

This will be the fourth meeting between Bayern and Lokomotiv in European competition and the German champions have won two of the previous three, including a 2-1 win in Moscow in the reverse fixture.

That game tested Bayern, though, as the Russian side – who are bottom of the group - recorded more shots on target than them (six to five).

In 13 Champions League games under Flick, that is one of only four instances that has happened - last season's Champions League final win over Paris Saint-Germain being one of the others.

Flick added: "They can play good football, especially up front. They can combine well on the ball when they have space. We need to deny them that space and stay compact.

"We do have to pay attention to [load management] but success is not something you own, it is only rented and the rent is due every day. 

"So, we are not resting. We have to do the best with the conditions that exist. We want to win the remaining four games of the year."

Bayern drew 1-1 against Atletico Madrid in their most recent Champions League outing – a result that ended an astonishing run that had seen Flick win each of his first 12 games in charge in the competition.

Joachim Low will do what he feels is best for Germany's hopes of Euro 2020 success when it comes to making a decision on the futures of Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels.

All three players were banished into the international wilderness by Low in March 2019 as he looked to build towards the future after Germany flopped at the 2018 World Cup, exiting in the group stage for the first time since 1938.

Attacking midfielder Muller (100 caps), plus defenders Boateng (76 caps) and Hummels (70 caps), boast 246 international caps between them and were all in the team that won the World Cup in 2014, but are now each 30 years of age.

Low reiterated last month that he would stand by his choice not to recall any of the trio, saying "nothing has changed" his opinion despite Muller enjoying a resurgence for Bayern Munich since being cast aside.

However, Low's decision has been under intense scrutiny following last month's 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Spain - Germany's heaviest defeat since losing to Austria in a friendly in 1931 by the same scoreline.

The 60-year-old was last week publicly backed by the German Football Association (DFB) to stay on until at least next year's rescheduled Euro 2020 finals and, speaking at a news conference on Monday, he backtracked on his previous comments.

"After 2018 we saw that it was a very unsuccessful year, we said we were making a change," he said. "It is important to give young players time and the opportunity to develop during a transition. 

"Like the 2010 tournament, something where the team developed. And because of the experience they have gained there, we are world champions in 2014. That was our requirement this time too. 

"A trainer is always the first to be held responsible for success. I've always said when I see before the nomination [of the squad] that this team needs this or that - then we will do that. At the moment I don't see any reason, even if we lost a game. 

"But next year we'll have to make a decision and I'll be the first to do that. It's not just sporting reasons that decide what does the best team look like, what is the energy of the team.

"But when I have the feeling, then I will do everything I can to achieve success. I have no idea what the situation will be like in March. I hope all players get through the winter well and stay healthy.

"We had a lot of injury problems. I hope that doesn't happen again. Let's think again about everything and turn every stone over. We then decide what is best for success."

Asked if he has already reached out to Bayern duo Muller and Boateng, or Borussia Dortmund centre-back Hummels, Low replied: "No, I have not."

Low has been criticised in Germany for failing to watch players up close in Bundesliga matches, but he has put his prolonged absence from grounds down to coronavirus-related protocols.

"We'd love to walk to every stadium if we could do that," he said. "It was the clear instruction to us, also from the doctors in the national team, not to go to the stadiums. On the one hand, we have international matches and we have to be in the bubble. 

"We don't want to endanger anyone and we don't want to be endangered either. It would be bad if we coaches were absent. It was clear that we were in the bubble with the national team. 

"That was also true until the end of the season, because from above - politicians also said to avoid contacts. It is a dangerous situation that, unfortunately, is not ebbing right now. We said we had a certain role model function. 

"Believe me, I know the Bundesliga like the back of my hand. We have a great team, trainers and scouts. We watch all games. We know the strengths and weaknesses of all of our players. 

"We look at the games, enter the data in our database and evaluate them. Then we also target the training in a targeted manner. But we will be role models until the end of the year and will not go to the stadiums."

Javi Martinez has been ruled out "for the foreseeable future" after sustaining a thigh injury during Bayern Munich's draw with RB Leipzig on Saturday.

The Spanish midfielder lasted just 25 minutes at the Allianz Arena and was replaced by Jamal Musiala, who scored Bayern's first goal in a thrilling game that ended 3-3.

Martinez will be unavailable for the Champions League meeting with Lokomotiv Moscow on Wednesday, though the reigning champions are already guaranteed to finish top of Group A.

A Bayern statement read: "Bayern will be without Javi Martinez for the foreseeable future. The Spain international suffered a muscle injury to his left thigh in the Bundesliga top-of-the-table clash against RB Leipzig on Saturday. The diagnosis was confirmed after an examination by the German record champions' medical unit."

The 32-year-old's future with Bayern is uncertain as his contract is due to expire at the end of the campaign.

Martinez has only made 24 Bundesliga appearances since the start of last season – nine of which have come as part of the starting line-up.

During that time, Bayern have averaged fewer goals scored (2.7 to 3.5) and more conceded (1.3 to 0.9) when Martinez has featured. They also attempt fewer shots (16.5 to 18.8) and allow the opposition more (10.4 to 8.5) when he is involved.

However, their win percentage remains the same at 75 per cent whether the Spaniard plays or not.

Thomas Muller was not thinking about the possibility of a Germany recall after helping Bayern Munich retain their place at the top of the Bundesliga.

Scrutiny of Joachim Low's decision to drop Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels from his Germany squad last year has been under intense scrutiny following their 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Spain in November.

Low became only the third Germany manager to concede six goals in a match after Otto Nerz and Sepp Herberger, with his team now having won just three of their past eight fixtures.

Muller has enjoyed a resurgence since being cast aside by Low, supplying a Bundesliga record 21 assists as Hansi Flick's side took the title as part of a treble in 2019-20.

The 31-year-old scored twice during Bayern's entertaining 3-3 draw with RB Leipzig at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, salvaging a point that stopped Julian Nagelsmann's side displacing them at the summit.

Asked about a return the national team, Muller told Sky: "That's a topic that is very far away for me. I'm trying to help the team I'm on the field with.

"You can talk about it as much as you like. I'll stick with it and then we'll see what happens.

"The DFB decided [to keep Low on as coach], so all Germans have to stand behind this decision and do everything to ensure we get things going again.

"And with Joachim Low, we are going to get things going again."

After Christopher Nkunku's opener, Muller added to Jamal Musiala's equaliser to put Bayern in control against Leipzig.

However, Justin Kluivert and Emil Forsberg turned the match around again, with Muller's second in the 75th minute only enough for a point.

The Bayern forward was pleased to have scored a brace, but with only Angelino (31) surrendering possession on more occasions than him (24), he acknowledged it was not a flawless display.

"I lost too many balls today. Of course I'm happy and satisfied – you don't always score two goals," said Muller.

"We know that we can come back from behind. In the end we have to live with the draw."

All three Bayern goals were set up by Kingsley Coman, earning the winger special praise from Hansi Flick.

"There are few others in his position who have his quality," said Flick.

"We have to be satisfied [with the result]. It was important that we didn't lose. It was a wild game.

"We generally have to improve as a team. I don't criticise individual players."

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