Kovac refusing to abandon defensive shape at Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich
Niko Kovac believes Bayern Munich produced a 'top performance' as they thrashed title rivals Borussia Dortmund 5-0 on Saturday.

Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac has confirmed he is unlikely to start Philippe Coutinho and Thomas Muller in the same XI.

The former Liverpool midfielder Coutinho has made three appearances for the Bavarians since his summer move from Barcelona.

Coutinho has added more creativity into the Bayern midfield after joining on loan, with Bayern paying £7.78million.

Kovac has kept swapping Muller and Coutinho during the first few games of the season, and he has claimed it is highly unlikely that both will start alongside each other.

He told the official Bundesliga website: “That would be too attacking. Both players have their own qualities getting forward, but we need a good balance. I haven’t ruled it out altogether, but at the moment it’s not an option.

“Philippe showed what he’s capable of with the ball [against Red Star]. He’s able to recognise certain situations, and his ability on the ball is sensational. His teammates are increasingly looking for him, and his understanding with them is also getting better and better. Yesterday he showed what he could do, and he’ll underline that over the coming weeks.”

Kovac usually uses a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Robert Lewandowski leading the line and Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry starting out wide.

Bayern are unbeaten in their first four games of the Bundesliga season, although Kovac’s men have been held to two draws to lie in fourth place in the table, two points behind leaders RB Leipzig.


They got off to the perfect start in the Champions League, though, after beating Crvena Zvezda 3-0, and they will take on Tottenham Hotspur in their next European encounter.

Olympiakos are their other opponents in Group B and Bayern will be hoping to win the competition for the first time since 2013.