Flick – Bayern must bounce back against Lazio

Ahead of the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 clash against Serie A outfit Lazio on Tuesday night, Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick has insisted that there can be no excuses in the first leg despite his side’s recent dip in form.

“I want my team to be switched on from the start and I have total confidence they will do that at Lazio,” Flick said during Monday’s press conference ahead of the encounter.

Bayern lost 2:1 to Eintracht Frankfurt in Bundesliga last Saturday and this was preceded by a shock 3 all draw against Arminia Bielefeld at the Allianz Arena. These results are coming after the club’s triumph in the Club World Cup in Qatar some weeks back.

The squad depth of the side has been tested since Thomas Muller and Benjamin Pavard tested positive for COVID-19 with Corentin Tolisso also on the sidelines with a long-term injury.

Regardless, Flick wants his men to respond at Stadio Olimpico in a game that promises to be free-flowing and attack-minded. Hopefully, this will be the case.

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“We all know what has happened in the last few days,” Flick added.

“I’m not looking for excuses. We weren’t good against Bielefeld and Frankfurt.

“We have to see that we’re fit again for the Champions League. These are special games which should motivate the players.”

Meanwhile, Niklas Sule is carrying a knock and this will see Joshua Kimmich play as a right-back instead of as a midfielder. Hansi Flick also revealed that Leon Goretzka will make his first start since testing positive for coronavirus in January.

Reports suggest that the Bundesliga giants have come up with stringent hygiene rules. This is after Pavard was confirmed as the fourth player of the club to test positive for the virus this year.

Bild have revealed that the entire squad undergoes daily tests and the players are instructed to stay at home except for training and matches.

“We have many tests, it’s part of life,” said winger Kingsley Coman, who scored the winning goal in last season’s Champions League final.

“There are many rules and regulations, but we have to meet all these precautions to be able to play.”