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Bayern’s Alaba, Coman fit against Liverpool – Kovac



Bayern’s Alaba, Coman fit against Liverpool – Kovac

The pair had been racing to recover from injuries after their goalless first leg draw at Anfield last month.

“Alaba took part in training yesterday, not the whole training,” Kovac said.

“We will have the final training today and I think he will be starting. He is mentally and physically fit to help the team.”

French winger Coman, who had nursed a hamstring injury, has also recovered, but it is not yet clear whether he will start.

“Coman is fit for tomorrow. Whether it is good enough for him to start we will have to see, but he is, in any case, an option,”Kovac added.

Bayern, who will be without suspended Joshua Kimmich, took over top of the Bundesliga from Borussia Dortmund with a 6-0 demolition of VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday for their 12th win in the last 13 league games.

They are in fine form and Kovac said he did not expect another goalless against the English side.

“We know they are strong in defence. With Virgil van Dijk coming back, Liverpool will be stronger in defence, but we can score goals. We have shown that in the Bundesliga,”he said.

“Tomorrow, there won’t be a 0-0. We want to win it and that is how we will approach the game. You cannot rely twice on a goalless draw to advance.”

Bayern may have been scoring lots of goals lately, but they have also been wasteful up front, the Coach said, hoping his team will improve their finishing in front of a fiery home crowd.

“What we need to improve is our efficiency up front.


Bayern favourites to win champions league, says Berbatov



Dimitar Berbatov has backed Bayern Munich to lift the Champions League’s trophy for a sixth time this season.

Berbatov said  the German club could have an advantage if the competition resumed after the COVID-19 stoppage due to the Bundesliga’s earlier re-start.

“Looking at this year’s Champions League, I am now leaning more toward Bayern Munich to win it, if it goes ahead,” the former Manchester United striker told Betfair.

Bayern thrashed Chelsea 3-0 in their Champions League last 16, first-leg match in February,  but the return game was postponed due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

“Maybe because I am watching a lot of Bundesliga, but they always impress with quality football and they have some great players.

“The way they dismantled Chelsea in that last match was unbelievable, they did it with such ease,” Berbatov said.

The 39-year-old Bulgarian, his country’s all-time leading scorer with 48 goals, also played for Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham in the English top flight as well as German club Bayer Leverkusen and AS Monaco in France.

“I am not sure how the stoppage will affect everybody, but Bayern Munich may have a slight advantage because they are playing football now and they are getting their match sharpness back, I will not  be surprised if they are now the favourites,”he said.

Bayern moved closer to a record-extending 30th German league title with a 5-0 drubbing of struggling Fortuna Duesseldorf on  Saturday.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)


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Favre denies he wants to resign after loss to Bayern Munich



Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre denied on Wednesday that he wants to resign after speculation had been sparked by cryptic comments in the wake of the 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich’s win in Dortmund pushed them seven points clear of their rivals at the top of the Bundesliga with six games left.

“I am not thinking of giving up. Yesterday (On Tuesday) we were all disappointed, but my words in the interview directly after the game seem to have been misunderstood in many cases,” he said.

What I had only wanted to say was that now is not the time to review the season. Why should it be? On Sunday at Paderborn we have to put on a top performance again. That’s what we have to concentrate on. Nothing else.”

When asked immediately after Tuesday’s loss to Bayern Munich whether the defeat showed he was not a title-winning coach, Favre gruffly responded: “People have been saying that for months.

“I don’t read the newspapers, but I know what it is about. I’ll talk about it in a couple of weeks.”

However, some reports in the German media suggested this might mean the Swiss would announce he was quitting next month.

The Bild newspaper said Borussia Dortmund have long been in contact with former Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac.

Lothar Matthaeus, who is a former Germany captain and now a pundit for Sky TV, had no doubt.

“I immediately thought: Lucien Favre is gone, Niko Kovac is coming. That was my first thought after his statement. Borussia Dortmund will probably be looking for a new coach this summer,” he said.

The 62-year-old Favre, who was appointed at Borussia Dortmund in 2018 and has a contract until 2021, has form for walking out of a club.

He quit Borussia Moenchengladbach after losing the first five games of the 2015/2016 season.

His Borussia Dortmund side let a nine-point lead slip last term as Bayern Munich overhauled them for the title.

He was under severe pressure earlier this season after a run of poor results, only for his team to turn it around.

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has given Favre his backing.

“There is currently no reason at all for the coach to be under discussion,” he told newspapers from the Funke Media Group.

“We are playing a very, very good second half of the season. We had amassed 27 out of 30 points before the Bayern Munich game. We have been praised everywhere.”

Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Bayern Munich with one hand on league title after 1-0 win at Dortmund



Joshua Kimmich’s first-half lob gave leaders Bayern Munich a 1-0 victory at second-placed Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Tuesday.

The slim win closes Bayern in on the league title with a seven-point advantage over their rivals and six games left in the season.

Kimmich, sent a perfectly-weighted chip over stranded keeper, Roman Buerki in the 43rd minute as the champions landed big win, at an empty stadium that normally seats 80,000 fans.

The win is in the visitors’ quest for a record-extending eighth straight league crown.

Bayern, who have now won their last seven league matches, are on 64 points with Dortmund still on 57. RB Leipzig, who face Hertha Berlin on Wednesday, are third on 54.

The Bundesliga became the first major league to restart 10 days ago after a break of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with games played without supporters to reduce the risk of infection.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Bayern Munich’s Thiago to miss top game at Borussia Dortmund through injury



Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has been ruled out of Tuesday’s Bundesliga top game against Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich’s coach Hansi Flick said on Monday.

This came to light after the playmaker, who had already missed Saturday’s 5-2 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, failed to recover from a muscle injury.

“Thiago did not train today,” Flick told a virtual news conference. “Unfortunately he will miss the game (at Dortmund).”

Bayern Munich are top of the table on 61 points, four ahead of Borussia Dortmund, with seven matches remaining in the campaign.

Victory in Dortmund would send them seven points clear and put them within touching distance of a record-extending eighth consecutive league crown.

“It is a completely different game from the first one (which Bayern Munich won 4-0 earlier this season),” Flick said ahead of the game which will be played in an empty Dortmund stadium that normally sits 80,000 fans.

The Bundesliga restarted 10 days ago with a strict medical protocol banning fans from the stadiums to minimise the risk of infection.

“We are on a good run and have lost only twice in the last 23 games and drawn once. We relish this game. It’s what this job is about and that motivates the players more,” Flick added.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Bayern Munich cruise past Eintracht Frankfurt to stay on title track



Bayern Munich beat Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 on Saturday, surviving a brief second-half comeback scare.

Victory helped the defending champions to stay four points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga with seven games left to play.

The Bavarians thought they had the match wrapped up after efforts from Leon Goretzka, Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski had given them a 3-0 lead in the empty Allianz Arena.

Eintracht Frankfurt defender Martin Hinteregger caught the Bayern defence napping to strike twice in three minutes and inject new life into the encounter.

Yet, the visitors then quickly gave away two goals —- with Alphonso Davies pouncing on a defensive error on the hour and Hinteregger scoring an own goal in the 74th minute.

Bayern Munich are on 61 points with Borussia Dortmund, who host the Bavarians on Tuesday, on 57 following their 2-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg.

The Bundesliga resumed last week, with no fans in attendance, after being suspended for more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Olawale Alabi) (NAN)


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Bayern Munich ease past Union Berlin to stay top in Bundesliga restart



Champions Bayern Munich scored a goal late in each half to beat promoted Union Berlin 2-0 on their return to the Bundesliga on Sunday.

The match has come after more than two months out, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has helped to protect their four-point lead at the top.

League top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski converted a 40th minute penalty kick and Benjamin Pavard headed in a corner kick in the 80th minute in an empty stadium.

The result helped to keep the Bavarians in the driving seat for a record-extending eighth successive league title.

They are now on 58 points, with Borussia Dortmund in second place on 54 following their 4-0 demolition of Schalke 04 on Saturday.

There are eight match days left in the season.

The Bundesliga is the first major sports league in the world to restart amid the pandemic but games are played without fans and with a strict health protocol.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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World champion Klose, signs up as Bayern assistant coach



World Cup record scorer,  Miroslav Klose has signed a one-year contract to become Bayern Munich assistant coach under head coach Hansi Flick from next season, the Bundesliga champions said on Thursday.

Klose, who scored a record 16 World Cup goals and won the trophy with Germany in 2014, had been a youth coach at Bayern for the past two years since retiring as player in 2016.

“We have known each other very well since our time in the national team and we trust each other both professionally and personally,” Klose said in a club statement.

“For me this is the next step in my career as a coach,” the 41-year-old added.

Flick was assistant coach when Germany won the World Cup six years ago and Klose got his record.

Klose also played for Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Lazio in Italy.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)


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Analysis: Werner rejects Bayern, but doors open for Sane




An unwritten law in German football seems to have lost its relevance. For decades it said if the country’s leading club was keen to sign a player then everything would work out in Bayern Munich’s favor.

Now the case of Timo Werner indicates times must have changed. According to inside information, the 24-year-old German international has rejected an offer to join the reigning German Champion this summer.

According to media reports, Werner’s management informed the Bavarians a while ago. As a result, the 2013 treble winner has intensified his efforts to sign Manchester City star Leroy Sane.

Bayern coach Hansi Flick had a 30-minute chat on the phone with the German international while sports director Hasan Salihamidzic is said to be in negotiations with the Premier League side.

Werner’s decision not only opens Bavarian doors for Sane but increases the possibility of a Werner move to Premier League leaders Liverpool.

The club managed by the German Juergen Klopp is said to be the striker’s first choice should he leave RB Leipzig. Reports speak of Klopp’s big interest in Werner and his intense efforts to convince the lively attacker.

Werner can fall back on an exit clause in his contract until 2023, allowing him to leave Leipzig this summer for a sum in the region of 60 million euros.

Statements made by his management team indicate Werner couldn’t get over the disappointment at Bayern’s eventual disinterest last year after negotiations lasting over several months.

Last season Werner appeared to be one of football’s bargains as he was on sale for 25 million euro. After Bayern’s surprising withdrawal, Werner extended his contract in Leipzig, including an exit clause containing a dynamically increasing transfer fee.

Bayern coach Flick was said to favour a Werner transfer but now has to change his plans. Werner was meant to either replace spearhead Robert Lewandowski in case of an injury break or to give the Pole a rest. Werner could have widened Flick’s options to choose a twin spearhead. Now Serge Gnabry or Thomas Mueller have to do the job.

After Werner’s decision, Bayern have turned their attention to Sane. The Citizens’ winger seems to have convinced Bayern that he is willing to follow the old unwritten law.

Bayern’s designated chairman Oliver Kahn announced his side is only going to sign new faces if they fit the club’s team philosophy.

Kahn is said to be having negotiations with Sane’s management. Approval for the deal is expected within the upcoming weeks.

Meanwhile, Bayern officials are anxiously waiting for the German national and state government’s politics to allow games behind closed doors by mid-May.

As all clubs of the Bundesliga Bayern are highly interested in finishing the 2019/2020 season in an orderly fashion and then concentrating on international tasks such as to complete the Champions League campaign.

After Flick and Mueller extended their contracts until 2023, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is expected to follow their example shortly.

The contract renewals are said to have created a motivational boost in Munich. Many are hoping the renewed enthusiasm is going to lead the side to the crown of European football, such as winning the Champions League.

With a success of that importance, it seems bearable coming second best in their efforts to sign Timo Werner and then going for Leroy Sane instead.


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Report: Bayern Munich expects to extend keeper Neuer’s contract



Bayern Munich’s Sporting Director, Hasan Salihamidzic, said he expects to renew goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s contract and also hopes for star international players to transfer over, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.

“I’m an optimist, so I hope we can extend the contract with Manuel,’’ Salihamidzic told the German newspaper.

Recent disagreements between Neuer and the German Bundesliga champions have been “resolved internally”, Salihamidzic said.

In an interview with the Sunday newspaper earlier this month, Neuer complained that he missed the discretion afforded in the past, amid his contract negotiations with FC Bayern.

He was “irritated” by the contract talks’ content being made public.

“Manuel knows that we appreciate him very much.

“I played with Oliver Kahn; I know how good a world-class goalkeeper can be to a team.

“Manuel is a world-class goalkeeper; he is held in high esteem in our club,’’ Salihamidzic told the paper.

Negotiations between the Munich team and captain Neuer for a new contract beyond summer 2021 have been difficult and the sides were reportedly at odds when it comes to length and worth of the deal.

According to Salihamidzic, the team are planning further transfers, following the signing of goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel from rival Bundesliga side Schalke.

“We want to strengthen our team with a top talent from Europe and also bring an international star to Munich who will raise the quality of our team and help the team to offer our spectators highly profitable and attractive football,’’ he said.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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