Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 June 2020

Bayern Munich fitness concerns Hansi Flick ahead of Bundesliga return against Union Berlin

Champions side hold a one-point lead at the top of the league heading into their trip to the German capital

Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick has said he is wary of his side's fitness levels as the Bundesliga leaders resume their title defence on Sunday evening against Union Berlin.

Flick's side hold a one-point lead at the top of the league heading into their trip to the German capital, which has been the scene of some impressive upsets thanks to promoted Union's form at their Alten Foersterei stadium.

Union have twice shocked the league leaders this season, beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in August and turning out 2-0 victors over Borussia Moenchengladbach three months later. Now it's Bayern's turn.

Flick is unsure of his team's ability to play out a full match of professional football after having only received the go-ahead to resume full team training last week.

"We don't know if the team can hold out over 90 minutes," said Flick. "We have trained well and played three matches of 20 minutes each last Sunday.

"They were played at a very high intensity, but we don't know clearly where we stand. We have to just deal with the situation."

The Bundesliga is the first major league in Europe to return to action since the coronavirus brought football to a halt two months ago and has only come back with a host of strict health regulations, chief among them empty stadiums.

That means Union won't be able to count on their ferocious home support at their ground on the eastern outskirts of the German capital.

They will also be without their manager Urs Fischer after breaking the team quarantine following the death of his father-in-law.

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Saturday's Bundesliga action in pictures

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"It's not possible to surprise Bayern with the experience their players have," said assistant manager Markus Hoffmann, who will take charge of Union for the Bayern match. "They've already experienced everything.

"We have to concentrate on ourselves and try to implement what we can to influence the game in the best possible way."

Bayern's lead was cut to a single point by Borussia Dortmund, who on Saturday showed no ring rustiness in a 4-0 demolition of Ruhr rivals Schalke.

As Bayern prepare to return, German football authorities have made no secret of the fact that several clubs are in a dire financial situation as a result of the lockdown.

If they are able to complete the nine remaining rounds of matches by June 30, clubs could receive around €300 million euros (Dh1.19 billion) from television contracts.

Clubs in England, Spain and Italy, where leagues are weeks away from returning, will be watching to see how the rest of weekend goes.

Updated: May 17, 2020 01:20 PM

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