Bayern Munich are struggling with a growing injury list and have travelled with an 18-man squad for Tuesday’s Champions League match at Galatasaray, but coach Thomas Tuchel said that changed nothing in their plan to win the game and stay top of Group A.
The Bavarians, who have won 15 straight UCL group-stage games, are without central defender Dayot Upamecano as well as midfielders Raphaël Guerreiro and Leon Goretzka. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is still working on his comeback.
Goretzka had surgery for a broken hand on Sunday, an injury he sustained in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Mainz.
Tuchel said Morocco defender Noussair Mazraoui, who was injured on international duty, had accompanied the squad and should be fit in time for the game.
“We have sped up recovery and maybe risked a bit in the past days. So he fully took part in training today and if there’s no reaction overnight then I think he can play,” Tuchel told a press conference on Monday.
Mazraoui triggered a furor days ago with social media posts in connection with the Israel-Hamas war, but the club refrained from taking any disciplinary action.
Bayern lead the group on six points from two games with Galatasaray in second place on four, are out to stretch their record unbeaten run, having gone 36 Champions League group stage matches without a loss, with 33 wins and three draws.
Galatasaray defeated city rival Besiktas 2-1 on Saturday with two goals from Argentine forward Mauro Icardi to stretch the team’s winning run to six games since their draw with Copenhagen.
FC Copenhagen are in third on one point, with Manchester United, who have lost to Bayern and Galatasaray, in last place.
“We feel ready to win a very difficult game tomorrow,” Tuchel said. “This competition needs to be played step by step. We feel strong enough to win the group and that’s our goal.
“It makes no sense to compare our squad with that of teams that are not in our group,” Tuchel said when asked to compare his team with the other title contenders.
Tuchel had previously complained that Bayern’s offseason transfer dealings had left the team short of options in defense after Benjamin Pavard’s transfer to Inter Milan and Josip Stanišić’s departure on loan to Bayer Leverkusen.
“Now it’s about making use of all we have. To use all the resources and give the guys confidence,” Tuchel said Saturday. “Now we can only recuperate, recuperate, recuperate at the highest level and then we go again in Istanbul.”