Dortmund and Munich sweat on fitness of Hummels, Boateng for topper
BERLIN – Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are sweating on the fitness of their centre backs Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng ahead of their Bundesliga table-topper on Tuesday.
Hummels was substituted with Achilles tendon problems at half-time of Dortmund's 2-0 victory at Wolfsburg, while Boateng had to quit with muscular problems late in Munich's 5-2 over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Dortmund's sports director Michael Zorc said Hummels has been nursing Achilles problems for some time but added "we hope he'll be able to play again on Tuesday," a statement echoed by coach Lucien Favre.
In Munich, they also hope that Boateng will recover quickly, with an upbeat coach Hansi Flick saying: "He had a few problems but I believe it is not so bad that he can't play. I believe it should be OK by Tuesday."
Boateng and Hummels once formed central defence together in the German national team highlighted by the 2014 World Cup title. They were also paired together in Munich before Hummels returned to Dortmund last year and is a team leader there.
Bayern enter Tuesday's match with a four-point lead over Dortmund and with victory could take a big step towards a record-extending eighth straight Bundesliga title.
Forward Thomas Mueller said "we want the title in Munich, where it belongs," while Flick was a little more cautious.
"We hope Tuesday's match will be attractive. Nothing will be decided after that, no matter what the result. The league is very balanced, especially at the top, with attractive football," he said.
Both sides have won their two matches after the coronavirus-related break and have shown fine form since the winter break, with Munich picking up 28 of 30 possible points in the period and Dortmund 27.
"We obviously have a lot of respect for Bayern. But I'm personally really looking forward to this match. And we're in really good form," Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney said.dpa