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December 13, 2019

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Only 13 fit players as Bayern eyes upturn

Bayern Munich is running out of healthy players as it bids to make up lost ground in the German Bundesliga.

The Bavarian club ended a run of two league losses with a 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, but has few options ahead of three Bundesliga games in a week.

Bayern hosts struggling Werder Bremen tomorrow, then visits Freiburg on Wednesday before its final game before Christmas against Wolfsburg in Munich.

France winger Kingsley Coman was forced off in pain after landing awkwardly on his left leg against Tottenham, leaving interim coach Hansi Flick with only 13 players from the senior team for Bremen’s visit.

Niklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez, Fiete Arp and Michael Cuisance are all out, Javi Martinez is suspended, and Corentin Tolisso is doubtful with a left thigh problem picked up in last weekend’s 1-2 loss at league leader Borussia Moenchengladbach.

David Alaba, who missed the win over Spurs, is expected to return, as will top scorer Robert Lewandowski, who was given a break as Bayern wrapped up six wins from six in the UCL.

Coman won’t play again this year, though his injury isn’t as serious as initially feared. Bayern said yesterday the Frenchman only has a capsule tear in his left knee, pulled his biceps tendon and jarred the knee joint.

“We all got a huge shock,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said. “He had a couple of serious injuries in the last one or two years, that’s why you always think the worst.”

Bayern is already seven points behind Gladbach after last weekend’s loss.

Bremen should provide a return to form. The northern team’s losing streak to Bayern is now 17 games, a league record.

Interim coach Flick, who took over from the fired Niko Kovac, started with four wins in all competitions before two somewhat unfortunate Bundesliga losses ended the honeymoon start.

Still, the former Germany assistant coach has the backing of Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who hinted on Wednesday that he may be kept on until the end of the season.

“Hansi has our trust. I’m convinced that he will live up to it.”


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