Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel believes tomorrow’s crunch clash with Bayer Leverkusen will enable both sides to “put their cards on the table” in the Bundesliga title race.
Leverkusen, under the guidance of Xabi Alonso, are unbeaten in 30 games in all competitions – the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Europa League – this season and go into the game at the BayArena with a two-point advantage over Bayern at the top of the table.
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Tuchel is aware of the home side’s qualities but insists his team are heading north to win.
He said: “I know what qualities Leverkusen bring in home games. A 0-0 is hard to imagine.
“Thirty teams have tried to win against them and 30 teams couldn’t manage it, it’s an extraordinary record.
“They have done outstandingly well but we are only two points behind.
“I think this is the moment the cards are placed on the table. We are going there to win.”
“We’re fully focused on what we’re doing. We want to deliver a statement performance. We will need to perform to the very best of our abilities in order to win. We want to prove ourselves this coming week.” #packmas #B04FCB pic.twitter.com/iBh7RKKrnj
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) February 9, 2024
There are still 14 games to go in the Bundesliga but Tuchel appreciates the significance of this weekend, adding: “It feels like a special moment. It’s about dominating the opponent from the first to the last second. We want to take the next step.
“I believe that Leverkusen are playing closer to the limit than we are.
“This week feels different from the other weeks. We will now see how stormproof we are.
“We want to deliver a statement performance but we will need to perform to the very best of our abilities in order to win.”
Alonso has been heavily linked with a summer move to Liverpool to replace the outgoing Jurgen Klopp and Tuchel is not surprised the former Bayern midfielder is making such a positive impact.
“The handwriting of Xabi [on his team] is recognisable 100 per cent,” he said.
“I have no greater respect for it. You didn’t need a lot of imagination to work out he would become a good coach.”
Bayern will be without left-back Alphonso Davies while they will give goalkeeper Manuel Neuer until the last minute to prove his fitness. They do have Joshua Kimmich, Kim Min-jae and Dayot Upamecano available, however, barring any late setbacks.