Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes has confirmed that Manuel Neuer won’t start in the DFB-Pokal final against Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend. The Germany international has been on the sidelines with a foot injury since September and it appears that he won’t play any part in the club’s final game of the campaign.
Speaking to reporters, Heynckes confirmed Neuer’s availability for the Cup final, but he is not expected to risk the leading shot-stopper with the World Cup on the horizon, he said: “Manu has no complaints at all - he has taken part in a full training session and I am very pleased with how he is. He is in fantastic physical shape and he is in the squad, an option, but he will not play from the start. Manu has a presence, an authority in goal, he cannot be compared to anyone. The nation can be reassured, he will be a great option at the World Cup.”
In the absence of Neuer, back-up shot-stopper Sven Ulreich has done a credible job between the sticks barring one poor performance in the Champions League semi-final. As such, he is expected to start in goal for the German champions for the weekend before handing the gloves to Neuer for the next campaign.
Meanwhile, Neuer’s fitness is undoubtedly expected to provide a huge boost to Germany ahead of the summer World Cup finals in Russia. The reigning champions are not regarded as the outright favourites to reclaim the title this term but with Neuer between their sticks, and they will fancy their chances of at least reaching the semi-final stage - which they have done in each of the previous four editions. The World Cup holders begin their campaign with a game against Mexico on June 17 before facing off against Sweden and South Korea respectively.