Barcelona have an important game coming up as they take on Bayern Munich in midweek. It is a must-win game for the Catalans if they are to keep their hopes of qualification to the knockout rounds of the competition.
More than the qualification hopes, the game against Bayern is also a matter of prestige for Barcelona, who have endured a disastrous record against the Bavarians in Europe.
However, heading into this contest, Barcelona have been handed a slight boost as three of Bayern’s key players have been ruled out for the game, reports Kicker (h/t iMiaSanMia).
The list includes Manuel Neuer, who is not expected to come back until the game against Mainz due to his shoulder issues. The club captain had notably missed the most recent game against TSG Hoffenheim. Sven Ulreich is expected to deputise for the injured Neuer.
Leroy Sane has been ruled out as well. The German international has been sidelined with a thigh injury lately and he is not expected to recover until the Inter Milan game, in matchday 6 of the Champions League group stages.
Sane’s continued absence could force Julian Nagelsmann to appear reliant on the services of Jamal Musiala and Thomas Muller, as far as Bayern’s creative unit is concerned.
The biggest absentee, though, could be Lucas Hernandez. The Frenchman is suffering a strain that he picked up in the win over SC Freiburg. He has been ruled out for the Barcelona game, which should greatly hamper Bayern’s defensive solidity.
Hernandez is indeed regarded as the best defender at Bayern Munich, and with Dayot Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt yet to properly establish themselves at their new clubs, Bayern could find it difficult to contain Robert Lewandowski this midweek.