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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

De Ligt and Sane to miss Bayern’s date with Inter

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Bayern Munich Centre back Matthijs de Ligt will miss Tuesday’s Champions League game against Inter Milan along with Leroy Sane who has however returned from injury to training.

Coach Julian Nagelsmann said on Monday that neither of the two would be in the squad and that he would rotate his team which has already clinched first place in the group ahead of Inter who are also in the last 16.

The game is a dead rubber but midfielder Joshua Kimmich said the team wants to make a statement with a seventh straight victory in all competitions.

“We don’t want to take it easy. It’s not a coincidence that we’re on a good run right now. Previous results may not have gone our way but we were still on the right path. We have been able to reward ourselves with strong results of late,” he said.

“We need to send a message to ourselves and our opponents. We want to play freely and have fun out on the pitch, like we have lately. We want to win the game in order to send a message.”

De Ligt was taken off at half-time of Bayern’s 6-2 Bundesliga win against Mainz. Sane was sidelined for a fortnight with a thigh muscle strain but returned to team training on the weekend.

Nagelsmann said that “the game comes too soon for Leroy Sane” and that he “will likely return to the squad on the weekend” for Saturday’s Bundesliga game at Hertha Berlin, which applies for Lucas Hernandez who is also back in training.

Looking at de Ligt, Nagelsmann said that he “will also not play due to a knee issue, he has a minor ligament strain.

“We will rotate. How many changes we make depends on how things go today and tomorrow. We won’t take any risks, after all, the last few weeks have been very intense,” he said.

“We have a balanced squad. The last weeks have proven that our substitutes are able to slot in seamlessly. We will rotate tomorrow because a couple players are carrying knocks and are tired.”

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and forward Thomas Müller won’t be part of the Inter squad either but could return for the final three Bundesliga matches before the World Cup break, Nageslmann said.

Neuer on Monday underwent goalkeeper specific exercises again for the first time since being sidelined with a shoulder injury which saw him miss the last six games.

“We’re hoping Manu will return this weekend. He had no issues during and after training today. We will need to wait and see,” Nagelsmann said, adding on Müller: “The plan is to give Thomas a reduced workload this week and see how things are by this weekend.”

Both will want to see some action before the World Cup in Qatar which starts on November 20 and Germany enter three days later against Japan. Coach Hansi Flick names the World Cup squad on November 10.

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