Augsburg vs Bayern Munich - Neuer set to boost Bayern for derby clash



Posted Friday, February 15, 2019 by PA

Augsburg vs Bayern Munich - Neuer set to boost Bayern for derby clash

Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer is ready to return from injury in Friday’s Bavarian derby at Augsburg.

Goalkeeper Neuer has been sidelined for the past couple of weeks with an injury to his right hand, but returned to training this week and could get his place back from Sven Ulreich.

“He’s got no complaints so he’s an option for Friday’s game,” coach Niko Kovac said on the club’s website.

Neuer missed three games in all, the first of them a 3-1 Bundesliga defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.

“We’re always discussing things,” Kovac added. “The games he’s missed were entirely his decision. The player always has the final word, and in this case Manu’s ready.”

That said, Kovac could be tempted to give Neuer extra time with next week’s Champions League clash against Liverpool looming, and he did not rule out another appearance from Ulreich.

“Sven Ulreich always has to be ready just in case,” he said. “He needs to stay on top of his game and he’s always there when we need him.”

“We’ll be prepared for everything on Friday. We need to find the right solutions and make the right decisions. The aim is obviously to win the game and ideally keep a clean sheet in the process.”

There was also good news for Bayern as Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski returned to training after sitting out on Tuesday with minor concerns, though Arjen Robben remains sidelined.

Bayern go into the match trailing Borussia Dortmund by five points, but will hope to put the pressure on their rivals with a victory ahead of Dortmund’s match against Nurnberg on Monday.

But though Augsburg may be second favourites on Friday, coach Manuel Baum insisted his side would not be rolling over.

Augsburg took a point from a 1-1 draw when the sides met at the Allianz Arena in September, and Baum has designs on a repeat.

“We held our own last time against Bayern and took a point away from the Allianz, so why can’t it be the same on Friday?” he said in a press conference. “The situation back then was similar to what it is now.

“There’s a real togetherness here. Everyone plays their part. We are all working together to get back on track and return to winning ways. That’s what it means to be Augsburg.”

It will be a first Bavarian derby – and a first ever match against Bayern – for goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, who has joined on loan from Hoffenheim.

“The Bayern game is a highlight for me – I’m looking forward to playing against a team of their stature,” he said. “I’m excited for the match and we want to take something away from it.”

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