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Bayern Munich hit by fresh Covid scare

Berlin (AFP) – Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich have been hit by a fresh Covid-19 scare ahead of Friday’s match at Augsburg, with defender Josip Stanisic and two club employees testing positive for the virus.

Stanisic, who is fully vaccinated, tested positive on his return to Munich after playing in Croatia’s 1-0 victory over Russia on Sunday when the 2018 runners-up booked their place at next year’s World Cup.

“The defender is fully vaccinated and is in domestic isolation. He is doing well,” Bayern said in a statement Wednesday, two days before their first match after the international break.

Confirmation of the three new infections comes just one day after Bayern players Joshua Kimmich — who has revealed he is not vaccinated — Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala came out of quarantine.

The quartet all had contact with defender Niklas Suele, who tested positive for Covid last week and remains in isolation.

The latest cases further disrupt preparations for Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann, who was sidelined for four games at the end of last month after also contracting Covid.

Bayern can move seven points clear at the top of the table with victory over third-bottom Augsburg.

It is six years since Augsburg last beat Bayern, who thrashed their Bavarian neighbours 5-2 in Munich when the sides met last May.

Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl, who masterminded shock wins over Bayern in both 2014 and 2015, is realistic about his team’s chances.

“In 10 games against Bayern Munich, they will win nine times — we need to have a great day,” he said.

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