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Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel dishes on injury situation, lineup selections, and more ahead of VfB Stuttgart tilt – Bavarian Football Works

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Will Bayern Munich maintain its focus vs. VfB Stuttgart.
Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel knows his team is in a precarious position against a very good VfB Stuttgart side this weekend. Banged up and tired, the manager has to measure who to rest, who to keep sharp, and who needs to play despite all of that because of necessity.
“We’ll give a few players the chance to pick up some rhythm. But that doesn’t relieve us of our responsibility, that those who play have to fight and show grit there. We’re expecting an emotional match in an emotional stadium. The opponent will give all they’ve got,” Tuchel said (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
While the outcome could go a long way in determining who the second place team will be, Tuchel said that is not exactly anything the club is striving for.
“Second place is never the goal for Bayern. Nevertheless, It’ll be a big challenge tomorrow. I think we know what’s coming our way. They’re coming from surviving the drop via the play-off to becoming one of the best teams in the league. They play with great calm and automated patterns. Stuttgart are consistently playing at their upper limit,” said Tuchel.
As for his squad, Tuchel will have some things to sort out. Despite his struggles against Real Madrid, it would not be shocking for Kim Min-jae to get the starting nod once again.
“We’ve already spoken, at halftime and after the game. The situations were clear. There are more ways to defend than always being aggressive and trying to win the ball. You can sometimes defend more passively. He’s someone who wants to defend in a very aggressive way. It’s how he defines himself. He learned the lesson twice for that. The mistakes came from a good impetus,” said Tuchel. “It’s easy to keep supporting him. He had a top game against Union, good minutes against Arsenal, has also trained well. He’ll continue to get our full support and has our backing.
“It’s not appropriate to point the finger at him and make him a scapegoat because the mistakes come from a good motivation. There’s a good chance he’ll play tomorrow. Matthijs isn’t available, Upa has felt something. It could be that we only have two center-backs tomorrow.
“Matthijs de Ligt won’t be available tomorrow. The plan for him is to resume training on Sunday and then we have three days to see if it’s enough for Wednesday. Jamal (Musiala) won’t be in the squad tomorrow and we hope he’ll be in training on Sunday. Leroy (Sané) will train today and will travel to Stuttgart. We’ll see how we can manage his minutes tomorrow. (Dayot Upamecano) will try today, we have to wait and see.”
Another position in a state of flux is left-back, where Tuchel has used Noussair Mazraoui, Alphonso Davies, and Raphaël Guerreiro. Tuchel has loved what he has seen from Mazraoui in playing on what many would consider to be his weaker side.
“There are obviously fewer crosses from the left, fewer runs in behind. But it suits him as a player. He’s very clever, very assured on the ball and isn’t so much about an athletic style. It means we try to be more attacking with our left winger, meaning he can also tuck in at times. We need to manage him tomorrow if he’s to be fully available for Wednesday. He’s doing very well and has great confidence in his abilities,” Tuchel remarked.
When asked about the string of rejections from coaching candidates, Tuchel indicated that he did not think it was becoming a distraction for the players.
“I think the players don’t want to know it in the next five days. Until then, the players’ interest is in the game tomorrow and on Wednesday. That has the highest priority,” said Tuchel.
Finally, Tuchel will be keeping an eye on one Stuttgart player in particular — goalkeeper Alexander Nübel.
“Alex is doing an excellent job. We’re very pleased with how he’s progressing and that he’s so important. His performances are just as impressive as those of the Stuttgart team,” Tuchel said.
Looking for some thoughts and analysis on Bayern Munich’s upcoming Bundesliga match against VfB Stuttgart? Bavarian Podcast Works has you covered with out Preview Show. You can check out our takes on everything Bayern Munich-related heading into the match on Spotify or below:
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