England star Harry Kane is under special observation at Old Trafford – but it’s not just him. Against Manchester United it’s about a collective Bayern reaction.
In a white tracksuit and warming black gloves, Harry Kane got in the mood for his emotional debut as a Bayern professional at the legendary Old Trafford.
The 30-year-old Englishman took off in a Condor holiday plane for his first trip home in the service of the German football record champions, which is anything but a relaxed pleasure trip after the crashing belly landing in Frankfurt on the last Bundesliga weekend.
FC Bayern are already confirmed as group winners and participants in the round of 16 in the Champions League. Nevertheless, the task this Tuesday (9 p.m./Prime Video) against Manchester United after the 1:5 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt will be a test of character and a signpost game in the end of the year. “There is an opportunity to show a reaction on one of the biggest stages in the world,” said coach Thomas Tuchel shortly before the final training session at the venue.
Another collective failure against the reeling English record champions, who, as bottom of the table, are still hoping to avert the embarrassing end of the premier class with a home win, would trigger heated fundamental debates among the German record champions. The word crisis was already mentioned at the airport on Monday, which sports director Christoph Freund admittedly went too far. “We are far from a crisis!” he said twice.
Tuchel: “We thought we were already further along”
Who will lead the way? Who responds with a top performance? The original Bavarian Thomas Müller, who was promoted to part-time by Tuchel, demanded that “the anger engine should start now”. In addition to the fans, the Munich bosses also expect Tuchel and his team to perform like Bayern again. “We thought we were already further and were disabused of it in a brutal way,” said a still astonished Tuchel.
“This is a very important game. You always take self-confidence and feelings with you from a game. That’s why it’s important to react now,” said Freund, also with a view to the last league games in 2023 against the famous VfB Stuttgart and at VfL Wolfsburg. After the “somewhat shocking” experience in Frankfurt, it offers “a good opportunity to build up self-confidence again,” said Jamal Musiala. The German international, who trained in England, was sufficiently fit to return to the starting line-up after his thigh injury. However, Tuchel spoke of “a maximum of 60 minutes” that the 20-year-old could complete again.
It is noticeable that the Munich stars regularly have total failures; in the Supercup against RB Leipzig (0:3), in the blatant cup defeat against third division team 1. FC Saarbrücken (1:2) or now in Frankfurt. Tuchel wondered “what exactly was wrong”. In Manchester he provided an explanation. “We had 22 critical turnovers, an absurdly high number.” It resulted in five goals conceded and the worst defeat of his tenure at Bayern.
Goal: “Remain undefeated” in the group
Freund is expecting a heated premier class classic. After all, Man United has to win in order to progress. However, the parallel game between FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray Istanbul would then have to end in a draw. “It will certainly be a hot atmosphere. Manchester will really step on the gas,” said Freund: “We want to show a good game and stay unbeaten in the group.”
The focus will of course be Kane. He will be wearing a Bayern jersey for the first time in England. “This is certainly a special game for him. It’s the first time he’s returning to the island where he comes from, where he enjoyed so much success. Harry is really looking forward to it,” said Freund.
Kane scored his first Champions League goal for Bayern in the wild 4-3 first leg win against the Red Devils. In his last eleven competitive games against United, the former Tottenham star was directly involved in nine goals (five goals, four assists). The 30-year-old has scored four goals in his last five appearances at Old Trafford. “Harry will play. He’s happy to be here,” reported Tuchel, hoping for Kane to be a leading figure.
The possible setups:
Manchester United: Onana – Diogo Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Shaw – Mainoo, McTominay – Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford – Höjlund
Bayern Munich: Neuer – Laimer, Upamecano, Kim, Davies – Kimmich, Goretzka – Coman, Musiala, Sané – Kane
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