Berlin: Bayern Munich will play their first game of the 2017-18 Bundesliga season on Friday without new captain Manuel Neuer, coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed.
“He will not play tomorrow. We won’t take any risks,” said Ancelotti ahead of the clash against Bayer Leverkusen at Munich’s Allianz Arena.
Neuer, who is also Germany’s captain, fractured his foot in April and although the goalkeeper has returned to training, the league opener comes too soon. Bayern are looking to extend their own record with a sixth straight German league title, but will be missing a host of stars against Leverkusen.
Playmaker Thiago Alcantara and new-signing James Rodriguez are both sidelined with injury, as are centre-backs Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez.
“We have injured players, but that is not a big problem,” said Ancelotti.
The Italian coach hopes to have both left-back David Alaba and winger Arjen Robben fit after recovering from knocks. Ancelotti refused to be drawn on whether new arrivals Germany international Sebastian Rudy, who came from Hoffenheim for free, or the club’s record-signing Corentin Tolisso, who cost 41.5 million euros ($48.6m) from Lyon, will start.
Goetze set to return
Meanwhile, Germany’s World Cup-winner Mario Goetze is poised to play for the first time in seven months for Borussia Dortmund at Wolfsburg on Saturday to end his illness misery. “Mario has taken full part (in training) and it looks good,” confirmed Dortmund’s new coach Peter Bosz on Thursday.
Source : http://gulftoday.ae/portal/376a80f5-1700-4799-b19c-d98bf49e171d.aspx