Thomas Tuchel insists Bayern Munich do not see it as job done in the Champions League despite having secured top spot in their group with two matches remaining.
Bayern host Copenhagen on Wednesday knowing progress to the knockout stage is assured but they want to maintain their momentum, as well as extend their proud record of having won 17 consecutive group games.
“It’s still a Champions League game,” Tuchel told a press conference when asked if he would rotate his squad.
“We are on a roll and we are having results and we don’t want to interrupt this phase because the management of workload is not too difficult. We now have a longer break from Friday to Wednesday.
“We are discussing it. We’re certain of being top in the group but we don’t want to send the signal that it’s not that important to us.
“If we make changes then it is in order to keep that bite, to keep that hunger high and to give players an opportunity that were patient, that were really pushing for their places.”
Bayern announced ahead of the game that veteran goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who has made a strong comeback from a broken leg, and his understudy Sven Ulreich have both signed new one-year deals, keeping them at the club until June 2025.
Neuer, who joined the club from Schalke in 2011, said on fcbayern.com: “I’m happy to be staying at FC Bayern for another year. After my long injury, I’m back in full swing.
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) November 28, 2023
“It’s immense fun for me to be on the pitch with this team. I’m sure that, together with the fans, we can achieve our big goals in the coming years – and obviously the 2025 Champions League final in Munich is one of them.
“Knowing that I still have Sven by my side makes it even nicer.”
Tuchel was asked during his press conference about another long-serving Bayern stalwart, Thomas Muller, who has started only five games this season.
“He knows that he has the chance and he knows that I really rate him highly,” said Tuchel of the 34-year-old.
“He has my respect. Thomas is a playing legend at Bayern Munich. The players that play more really play very well at this time.
“Choupo (Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting) is a different type of player and we wanted to give him a chance. He is working hard to win games for us as well.
“Thomas should play from the start tomorrow. He’s obviously not happy, nobody’s happy at Bayern Munich when he’s sitting on the bench, but Thomas will be a special player.”
Copenhagen currently sit second in the group but are level on points with Galatasaray and only one ahead of Manchester United.