Kimmich misses Bayern training after close contact with suspected COVID-19 case

By Sports Desk November 18, 2021

Bayern Munich are waiting to discover if Joshua Kimmich will be available to face Augsburg on Friday after he was in close contact with someone who may have coronavirus.

Julian Nagelsmann confirmed Kimmich missed training on Thursday as a precautionary measure and the Bundesliga champions are awaiting the results of his PCR test.

Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, was recently forced into isolation along with Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala due to being in close contact with Niklas Sule.

Sule withdrew from the Germany squad to face Liechtenstein and Armenia after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Kicker reported that Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala – who are all unvaccinated – are being split up for the rest of the Bayern squad due a spike in coronavirus cases. 

Josip Stanisic was the latest Bayern player to return a positive COVID-19 test this week, with the Bavarian giants stating on Wednesday that the fully-vaccinated Croatia defender is isolating at home but feels "fine".

Nagelsmann revealed Kingsley Coman will miss the clash with Augsburg due to a minor muscle problem, but Leon Goretzka is fully fit.

The Bayern head coach will make a late decision on whether Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Alphonso Davies feature on Friday after they only returned from international duty on the eve of the game.

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    Julian Nagelsmann feels Bayern Munich's resounding 5-0 win over Viktoria Plzen was "another step in the right direction" for his side ahead of facing Borussia Dortmund.

    Bayern followed up Friday's 4-0 Bundesliga thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen with an even more emphatic victory in Tuesday's Champions League tie with Czech champions Plzen.

    It marks the first time the Bavarians have won back-to-back matches in all competitions since August, having gone four league games without a win prior to the international break.

    Nagelsmann is pleased with what he saw from his side against Plzen, with Bayern returning to form at just the right time ahead of Saturday's Klassiker showdown with fierce rivals Dortmund.

    "The boys did well today," Nagelsmann told DAZN. "That's how you have to approach a game. We decided it quickly then controlled it. 

    "With a view to Saturday, that was important, serious and well deserved. It was another game that shows we are taking steps in the right direction."

    The hosts were three goals up inside 21 minutes, with Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane netting after Leroy Sane had opened the scoring at the Allianz Arena.

    Sane doubled his tally early in the second half before substitute Eric Choupo-Moting rounded off the scoring for the leaders in a one-sided Group C contest.

    It is the 26th time Bayern have scored five or more goals in a Champions League match, which is five more than next-best Barcelona.

    Mane wasted some promising chances to add to the scoring, netting from just one of his six attempts, but the forward was happy with his side's performance.

    "The team played a great game, with a lot of chances created," he said. "We deserved to win. 

    "The past few weeks have been tough. It was important we reacted. We reacted well after the international break. Hopefully we can continue like this until the end of the season.

    "We have nine points from three Champions League games and a good goal difference. We are in a good place. 

    "We were disciplined today. We were well prepared for the opponent and that's where most of the goals came from."

    Bayern have now gone 31 games without defeat in the group stage of the Champions League, overtaking the record of 30 set by Real Madrid in 2017.

    "We rightly received criticism during the international break," said Leon Goretzka, who set up two of the goals against Plzen.

    "We used the time well and focused on our game again. Our aim is to perform on a regular basis. We're still extremely upset about the games before that."

  • Galtier: PSG must 'play under pressure' to beat Benfica Galtier: PSG must 'play under pressure' to beat Benfica

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    The fixture sees two sides with 100-per-cent records so far in Group H face off, with PSG top by virtue of scoring more goals than their Portuguese counterparts.

    Both teams also lead their domestic leagues and are yet to lose a game so far this campaign, suggesting the match in Lisbon could be an exciting and tight affair between two sides in excellent form.

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    "This team will come and get us, it's the DNA of the club and their coach. It puts enormous pressure on us. We have to be much more effective on an offensive level.

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    "I'm not surprised that they're at this level. Today, Benfica can claim to be a favourite of this group."

    Benfica's strong start has been aided by their excellent home form, having won all seven of their games at the Estadio da Luz in all competitions.

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    Gareth Southgate's side head to the World Cup after failing to win any of their six Nations League matches and suffering relegation from the top tier of the UEFA competition.

    That run is England's longest winless streak in almost 30 years, while it also marks the worst run of form the side has ever faced before a major international tournament.

    Despite that and rising pressure on Southgate, Beckham believes England have the capability to win the World Cup for the first time since 1966.

    "I will always say England. It's going to be difficult but the fact we are now going into a big competition like the World Cup, only playing 25 games in the season, player energy will be up, they won't be injured," he told Sky Sports.

    "They've not played 60 games in a season, so I think they are going to be ready. We have a big opportunity.

    "Gareth Southgate has done an incredible job with the players. The unity, which I think is a big part of it, we saw that in the Euros. My prediction is that, hopefully, England will go all the way, but it is not going to be easy."

    England begin their campaign on November 21 against Iran, then facing the United States and Wales in Group B.

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