Niklas Sule returns from injury

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As Munich’s Bayern beat Marseille 1-0 in a friendly strike thanks to Serge Gnabry, Niklas Sule returned from injury.

Hansi Flick was pleased to see Niklas Sule making a long-awaited return from injury as Bayern Munich qualified for the Champions League by beating Marseille in a friendly Friday.

Germany’s defender Sule hasn’t played in the DFB-Pokal since October after breaking an anterior cruciate ligament, though he was one of the substitutes for the final victory over Bayer Leverkusen.

The center-back replaced Jerome Boateng just after the hour in the 1-0 victory over Marseille on Bayern’s academy campus, where Serge Gnabry scored the sole goal of the game.

Sule having minutes is a welcome boost for Flick as Bayern prepares to face Chelsea in the second leg of their postponed last-16 Champions League contest on August 8, a match to which they lead 3-0.

“We are both incredibly pleased. He [Sule] had been working hard to get back on the pitch. He deserved something more than just being back on the field,” said Flick.

Benjamin Pavard injured his metatarsal in training this week, and Flick said Bayern will continue to track when France’s defender can return.

“We must play against Chelsea first of all, which I believe will be relatively close. Once we’ve completely opened the quarter-finals threshold, we ‘re going to think about everything that comes up after that,” Flick added when asked about Pavard.

The injury situation meant Joshua Kimmich was playing right-back against Marseille and Flick was delighted with what he saw from the supremely talented Germany on the international stage.

Flick said: “It was a change of direction, with Thiago [Alcantara] back in the midfield who had been injured previously. He always worked hard in his spare time. Josh still gave impulses on the right side and closed his side defensively.”

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