June 21, 2021

Gnabry out of Bayern Champions League opener after positive Covid-19 test

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The forward, who was so vital to his side’s triumphant 2019-20 campaign, will not be available for Wednesday’s clash with Atletico Madrid

Bayern Munich star Serge Gnabry will be forced to miss the first match of his side’s Champions League defence after returning a positive test for coronavirus. 

Gnabry started for Bayern at the weekend, playing just over an hour of their 4-1 Bundesliga thrashing of Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday. 

But the 25-year-old subsequently tested positive for the pandemic disease and will not be available for the Bavarians’ Champions League Group A clash at home to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday. 

“Serge Gnabry, 25, has tested positive for Covid-19,” Bayern confirmed in a statement published on the club’s official website. 

“The FC Bayern attacker is otherwise in good health and is self-isolating at home.”

As well as the reigning German and European champions and Atletico, Group A is completed by Red Bull Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow, who also face off on Wednesday. 

Bayern next travel to Moscow on October 27 for their second clash away to Lokomotiv. 

Gnabry is likely to also miss that match as he waits for the virus to leave his system, as well as his club’s weekend Bundesliga match at home to Eintracht Frankfurt

The former Arsenal youngster enjoyed a sparkling 2019-20 season at the Allianz Arena, his second since leaving the Gunners in the summer of 2018 after failing to break into the English side’s first-team ranks. 

Gnabry hit 23 goals in 46 games in all competitions to record the best campaign of his career. 

The Germany international saved some of his best performances for the Champions League, particularly in the latter stages of the competition when it restarted in August due to the pandemic. 

He scored Bayern’s third in their infamous 8-2 quarter-final humiliation of Barcelona and followed that up with a double to down Lyon in the next round, taking his total European tally for the season to an impressive nine. 

Only team-mate Robert Lewandowski and Borussia Dortmund‘s Erling Haaland outscored Gnabry in last year’s tournament, with 15 and 10 goals respectively.