Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann will decide only shortly before the game which central defenders will face Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski as he returns to Munich for their Champions League Group C match on Tuesday.
The Poland forward, who scored 344 goals for Bayern in 375 games during his eight years at the club, joined the Spanish side in July in a deal worth $45.63 million. The Bundesliga’s second highest all-time scorer forced a move from Bayern despite having a contract until 2023. He criticised Bayern who he said “tried to find an argument why they can sell me to another club because before it was difficult to explain maybe to the fans”. Bayern in turn said the situation had been caused by the player who asked to leave despite having a contract, before the two sides mended ties.
“I am certain on many positions but not the ones in central defence yet,” Nagelsmann told a news conference. He can choose between Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt and Lucas Hernandez, with the latter having a slight advantage.
“Upa has more duels against Lewa in the Bundesliga (when the defender played for RB Leipzig). He always defended well against him but I have not decided yet,” the coach said. Nagelsmann said Lewandowski was still at a top level despite his 34 years and expected him to keep scoring an average of 40 goals a season. The striker has six La Liga goals in five matches for Barca so far this season.
“He is their most dangerous threat in front of goal. I wish he can continue playing at this level for many years. If he maintains the physical fitness he can play for sure a few more seasons at this level. “In the last few years he has been scoring about 40 goals a year. He is on a good road towards achieving that this season.
“We have to stop passes and crosses to him. But there are several other very good players in that team as well,” Nagelsmann added.
Bayern, who beat Inter Milan 2-0 away in their Champions League group opener last week, have drawn their last three Bundesliga matches to drop to third place. Violence threat French authorities in Marseille have ordered a partial ban on alcohol sales and banned Frankfurt fans from travelling on their own ahead of Tuesday’s high-risk match at the Stade Velodrome.
Less than a week after violent crowd fights marred a match between Nice and Cologne in the Europa Conference League, the likely mass arrival of thousands of Frankfurt supporters in the south of France is raising fresh concerns. Frankfurt supporters have been allocated 3,300 seats for the game but the German club believes that as many as 5,000 additional supporters without tickets could make the trip to Marseille.
(AP/PTI & Reuters)
3 EPL ties postponed
Three Premier League matches scheduled for the upcoming weekend have been postponed ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, the Premier League announced on Monday. Chelsea’s home game against Liverpool and Manchester United’s home game against Leeds United have been postponed, it said.
Brighton against Crystal Palace had already been called off because of rail strikes and remains postponed. The other league matches between September 16 and 18 will take place after football paused last weekend as a mark of respect following the Queen’s death. The funeral will be held on Monday 19 September.
“Following extensive consultation with clubs, police, local safety advisory groups and other relevant authorities, there was no other option but to postpone the three fixtures,” said a Premier League statement. “The Premier League would like to thank the UK Football Policing Unit and other police forces across the country, as well as our broadcast partners, for their support during this process,” the league added.