Munich (AP) - With a successful "battle of wear" Niko Kovac wants to lead Bayern for the first time this season to the top of the table.
At the first Bundesliga summit of the still young season against RB Leipzig and to start in delightful English weeks, the Munich want to set an exclamation point. «I believe that everything is required of us there. But we are German champions and go there with the confidence that we want to win. We all know that it will be difficult », said coach Kovac. Leipzig leads the table with nine points in front of Munich (7 points).
Just under a week before the start of the new Champions League season, the new edition of the Cup final on Saturday (18.30) promises a delightful football evening. "We take Leipzig very seriously. They are first and we want to be that after the game, "said Kovac. "It's going to be a scuffle fight."
After some wild duels in the past like a 5: 4 for Bayern in May 2017, last year's league games (0: 0, 1: 0) were highly competitive. When 3: 0 in the Berlin Cup final less than four months ago it was up to the final quarter hour only 1: 0 - before Robert Lewandowski & Co. once again turned up. "We know from our heads what will await us," said captain Manuel Neuer before determining the location of the 29-time champion against the upstart.
The showdown in Leipzig with their new coach Julian Nagelsmann, who in the past was already cheering as Bayern scare, will also be a first check for the rebuilt Kovac troupe. Whether the 47-year-old offers the Brazilian Philippe Coutinho after a grueling international game tour in the starting eleven, he left open. "We have to wait and see how he comes back," Kovac said. Then he wanted to talk to the new signing from FC Barcelona and make a decision. But the rested Thomas Müller is also a good option.
Kovac was "happy" that the national team had survived their sorties in the selection teams. He hopes that Leon Goretzka, who was operated on Wednesday, will return "as soon as possible". "You can not call exact days and weeks," Kovac said. Goretzka had been operated on for a thigh injury.
Even at a very early time of the season, the match in Leipzig is "of course a very important game," said Kovac. Of course, a prognosis for the title fight can not yet be given. "With regard to the current season, however, one can not make any serious statement, which is simply not possible after three match days," said CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in the "Kicker". "Our goal is to take the championship lead with a win."
In addition, the start lures in the premier class, in which it starts at home against Red Star Belgrade. "The first step is now on Saturday," Kovac told the "hot dance" against Leipzig.
As the youngest head coach in the Bundesliga Julian Nagelsmann defeated in the 2016/2017 season with TSG Hoffenheim Bayern 1-0, of his first three games he lost none. After that, however, he conceded three defeats. "Leipzig also had a very good coach before, now they have Julian, a young top coach, who also tries to get his ideas in," said Kovac. "Every coach brings something new."
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