Bayern Munich will be without key midfielder Joshua Kimmich when it travels to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday while fellow midfielder Leon Goretzka is doubtful for the top of the table Bundesliga clash, Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said on Friday.
Kimmich will not be able to return before next week as he is still in quarantine following a COVID-19 infection, Nagelsmann said.
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Germany international Goretzka’s participation, even more crucial given the absence of Kimmich in midfield, will be decided as late as prior to kickoff in Dortmund.
“Leon Goretzka is still doubtful. We will decide today or even tomorrow. He has done reduced training sessions and he still has some issues with his knee. It is a painful issue,” Nagelsmann said.
“I will talk with him and then we will decide if he can play and if he is at 100%. We can only have players who are at 100%.”
Bayern is top of the league with 31 points, one point ahead of Dortmund, and is aiming for a 10th consecutive league crown.
But it is missing several players with Marcel Sabitzer and Josip Stanisic injured while forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is still in isolation.
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“Everyone knows of the importance of this game. For the league itself it is a great situation with 31 points and 30 points. It is the top game and the motivation will be unusually high,” Nagelsmann said.
“I am not one who will start crying when players are missing. I have to try to do the best I can with the players I have. It is like that and you cannot change it.”
Nagelsmann, however, has the league’s best striker, Robert Lewandowski, in fine form with 14 goals so far. Losing out on the world player of the year trophy this week will have motivated him further.
Lewandowski finished second to Argentine Lionel Messi in the vote for the prestigious Ballon d’Or trophy, a result that surprised many football fans.
“Robert does not look frustrated. But it is normal if you have this dream of winning the Ballon d’Or one day. It is even more painful when you are so close as second,” Nagelsmann said.
“But he is an amazing professional. He is the type who will draw energy from this.”