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As Bayern Munich prepare for a crucial match against Leverkusen, “key center back” Dayo Upamecano, 25, appears ready to return to action. He has been running with the ball on the training ground and looking fit.

Bayern Munich will host Leverkusen in the 21st round of the 2023-24 German Bundesliga at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, on Nov. 11 at 2:30 p.m. ET. Munich is in second place with 16 wins, two draws, and two losses (50 points), while Leverkusen is first with 16 wins, four draws, and 52 points.

This season, the Bundesliga has become a two-power system. Alongside traditional powerhouse Munich, the ‘upstart’ Leverkusen are in the title race. Leverkusen have stood out. Under Xabi Alonso, they are unbeaten with a disciplined tactical system. They showed no signs of slowing down in the absence of Victor Boniface, picking up three wins against Augsburg (1-0), Leipzig (3-2), Mönchengladbach (0-0 draw), and Darmstadt (2-0) in his absence.

Behind them, Munich is chasing. After a shock 0-1 loss at Werder Bremen in Round 18, the Bavarians have registered three consecutive wins against Union Berlin (1-0 win), Augsburg (3-2 win) and Mönchengladbach (3-1 win). Only two points separate them from Leverkusen.

It’s safe to say that the Munich vs. Leverkusen match is practically a ‘title decider’. With six points on the line, a Leverkusen victory would increase the gap to five points. On the other hand, if Munich loses, the tables are turned.

Munich have received ‘good news’ ahead of a crucial match. First-choice center back Upamecano was ruled out of the previous game against Union Berlin with a hamstring injury. With Kim Min-jae away at the Asian Cup, the void was filled by Eric Dier, who arrived in the winter transfer window. Contrary to fears, the game went off without a hitch, as they took all three points.

However, the game against Leverkusen is different. The pressure is on for Dyer. Augsburg and Mönchengladbach, where Dier has played, have scored 29 and 36 goals as a team this season, respectively. But 안전놀이터 Leverkusen have scored 52 goals as a team, and a mediocre defense can’t stop them.

“Upamecano trained again for the first time in six days. He has started to prepare for his return with running training,” the club said on its website at the end of January, and in a training photo released on May 5, Upamecano was seen holding the ball and sweating. He was also in good spirits.

Victor Catalina of Germany’s AZ tweeted on Friday, “Upamecano did extensive individual work with the ball, including crossing, catching and headers. Coach Thomas Tuchel wants Upamecano to be available for the Leverkusen game. A final decision on his availability will be made in the middle of this week.”

If this is the case, the center-back combination of Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt could be deployed against Leverkusen.

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