According to Julian Nagelsmann, Manuel Neuer should be ready to represent Germany in the World Cup but will likely miss Bayern Munich’s trip to Barcelona next week.
Neuer last played for Bayern in their dramatic 2-2 draw against Borussia Dortmund on 8 October. Due to a shoulder injury, Sven Ulreich took his place between the sticks in the last three games.
The goalkeeper will be out again when Bayern visit Hoffenheim on Saturday, and Nagelsmann doubts he will be in the fight for Barça’s Champions League elimination on Wednesday.
However, Nagelsmann allayed fears that he might miss the trip to Qatar, saying: “Manuel is still in pain. He probably won’t be able to play in Barcelona either, we are planning to play in Mainz. [on October 29].
“Of course there could be problems if he starts too early and we want to avoid that. We have to wait until the healing process is such that he can play again.
“I don’t think the World Cup is in danger. Manuel knows his body better than anyone and knows what pains he can play with.
“Yesterday he worked out at the gym. It’s up and down, day after day, but I don’t think it will last that long. I hope he comes back against Mainz.
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) October 20, 2022
Bayern have had to deal with several selection challenges lately, having weathered a spate of COVID-19 cases and seeing Leroy Sane sidelined with a muscle injury.
Thomas Müller is the latest player to be excluded from a trip to Hoffenheim, prompting Nagelsmann to highlight the importance of Erik Maxim Choupo-Moting.
“Leroy Sane is famous, Thomas Muller is also not out, he has problems with the gastrointestinal tract,” he added. “He is unhappy with it, but I think he will be fine before the Champions League game. Otherwise, nothing new, everything is fine.
“Kingsley Coman can play again. Erik Maxim Choupo-Moting did well in the games and it’s important that he be there after Muller’s absence.”
Choupo-Moting scored two goals after kick-off in the Bundesliga for the first time since November 2016 last week, scoring and providing an assist in a 5-0 win over Freiburg.
97 – Eric Maxim #ChupoMoting scores a goal for Bayern on average every 97 minutes of play – excluding penalties, he has a better minute-to-goal ratio than Robert #lewandowski the Bavarians (108 minutes per goal). Successor? pic.twitter.com/r6EG8rdlxP
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) October 20, 2022
Meanwhile, the former Paris Saint-Germain striker has scored more goals against Hoffenheim (nine to six goals, three assists) than against any other Bundesliga team.
Nagelsmann made a name for himself as a manager in his successful three years at Hoffenheim, leading the club to Champions League qualification at the end of the 2016-17 season, and admits Saturday’s match represents a unique occasion.
“For me, this is a special game. This club is close to my heart,” he added. “I spent many successful years there and met many friends and wonderful colleagues there.”
Hoffenheim have amassed 17 points in their first 10 Bundesliga games this season, their best result so far in the campaign since Nagelsmann led them in 2016/17 (20).