Goretzka to start against former club Schalke, confirms Kovac

Leon Goretzka will hope to emulate team-mate Renato Sanches by scoring against his old team when Bayern Munich plays on Saturday.

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac during the Champions League against SL Benfica.   -  Getty Images

Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac confirmed that Leon Goretzka will make his second Bundesliga start for the club against former club Schalke on Saturday.

The midfielder, who joined Bayern on a free transfer in June, made his only start of the season so far in a 3-0 win at Stuttgart on September 1.

However Kovac, who left Goretzka out of his squad for the subsequent victory over Bayer Leverkusen and then used him as a late substitute in the Champions League win over Benfica, said the 23-year-old had done enough to earn a start this weekend.

"Leon Goretzka is playing well so far," Kovac told reporters.

"He has integrated well in the team. I'm convinced that he will do well tomorrow and will be in the starting 11. Against Schalke we want to pick up where we left off last week against Leverkusen. I'm expecting an aggressive, intensive match. If we play our best, we can win this game too. Otherwise it will be difficult."

READ | Kovac hails 'special' Sanches after Bayern goal

Kovac will hope Goretzka can emulate team-mate Renato Sanches by scoring against his old employer, with the Portuguese midfielder on target against Benfica.

Sanches scored Bayern's second in the 2-0 triumph as he made his first start for the German champion since May 2017.

Kovac praised Sanches and gave a positive assessment of his squad's fitness ahead of the trip to Gelsenkirchen, saying, "Renato did very well against Benfica. He justified the faith we have put in him and he will play regularly in the coming weeks. Every player that went to Lisbon is fit. The only absentees from the squad are [Kingsley] Coman, Rafinha and [Corentin] Tolisso. Otherwise everyone is fit and will be available tomorrrow."

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