Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has withdrawn from the Germany squad for their upcoming fixtures because of an adductor injury.

The 31-year-old linked up with his national side on Monday for the World Cup qualifiers with Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia.

However, Germany confirmed on Tuesday that Kroos has returned to Madrid as a precautionary measure and will play no part in any of their games over the next eight days.

"Our medical department has examined and treated Toni intensively," said head coach Joachim Low, who will step down from his position at the end of the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament.

"He would have liked to stay with us, and I am reluctant to be without him. But with a view to the Euros, we decided that the full recovery from this injury must be a priority."

Kroos earned his 100th cap for Germany in October's 3-3 draw with Switzerland and has featured 35 times in all competitions for Madrid this season.

He previously missed two games earlier this season with a gluteal injury, seeing him play no part in the league wins over Real Valladolid and Levante.

Germany are also without Niklas Sule and Robin Gosens for Thursday's clash with Iceland in Duisburg, the pair unavailable with thigh and muscular problems respectively.

The build-up to the match has been dominated by talk of who will succeed Low as the next Germany head coach, but Manuel Neuer insists it will be business as usual on the field.

"We had a short team meeting and are concentrating on our tasks," he said. "We have to be well prepared for the European Championship and will use every game to do that.

"We cannot make any more mistakes. We have a strong group, against some strong opponents, so every game is a final from the start.

"Of course now we want to crown this era with a success. The coach deserves that to end with a success after the successful years.

"He is is very motivated and ambitious. It's not that he thinks he's going to retire. He's enthusiastic. He wants to quit as national coach as successfully as possible."

Under-21s boss Stefan Kuntz is among the frontrunners to replace Low, who has been at the helm since 2006 and guided his country to World Cup success in 2014.

Ralf Rangnick and Hansi Flick, who manages Neuer at club level with Bayern, are also in the running, while Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann have distanced themselves.

Asked about the candidates for one of the top jobs in football, Neuer said: "A national coach must have experience and must have done one or the other in German football. 

"He should know the Bundesliga. It's not about what we think, but about the goals that we have in front of us."

Hansi Flick was unimpressed by the state of Eintracht Frankfurt's pitch but insisted he was not using that as an excuse for Bayern Munich's 2-1 defeat on Saturday.

Defending champions Bayern lost for the second time in the Bundesliga in 2021 and dropped points in successive matches, having drawn 3-3 at home to struggling Arminia Bielefeld on Monday.

As such, RB Leipzig will close to within just two points of the leaders if they beat Hertha Berlin – who are just above the relegation zone – away from home on Sunday.

It is a significant turnaround in Bayern's fortunes given they were 10 points clear earlier this month, and Flick was frustrated by the nature of his team's performance, particularly the first half.

Bayern trailed 2-0 at the break thanks to Daichi Kamada's well-worked opener and Amin Younes' stunning strike, with Robert Lewandowski's effort just after the interval insufficient as the champions sought an equaliser.

"Frankfurt are having a sensational run, but they can still improve the pitch a little bit," Flick told reporters. "That's something we don't like to see. However, [the defeat] certainly wasn't because of the pitch.

"We didn't get into the game well. Eintracht played with a lot of pace in the first half. But if we played the way we did in the second half for the full 90 minutes, the winner would be different.

"We've had a turbulent few weeks. We've many injured and infected players. We're just human. I'm still proud of the team.

"I didn't think that Leon Goretzka would show such a strong performance when he came into the game. He helped us and brought positive energy onto the pitch. We can build on that second half, so I'm not worried."

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer echoed the sentiments of Flick, convinced things would have been different if Bayern's first-half performance had matched their showing in the second period.

"We didn't learn from the Arminia Bielefeld game," Neuer said. "This was not enough against such a team.

"We have to be wide awake from the start. The second half was good - had we played like that from the start, we'd have won here."

The defeat took Bayern's goals conceded this season to 31 in 22 Bundesliga games, their worst record at this point of the season since 1991-92, when they finished 10th.

Bayern Munich completed a year of dominance by collecting the Club World Cup on Thursday, beating Tigres UANL 1-0 in the final.

Victory in Qatar, courtesy of Benjamin Pavard's scrappy second-half goal, clinched a sixth trophy in under 12 months.

Bayern started a 23-match winning run in all competitions this time last year, winning the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, Champions League and UEFA Super Cup in this time.

They added the DFL-Supercup immediately after seeing that streak ended in September, then completed the set by beating Tigres.

Hansi Flick's side went one better than Bayern's 2013 team, who collected five titles - losing to Borussia Dortmund in the domestic Supercup.

The Bavarian giants were dominant last season and have continued to collect results this term, led by a star-studded cast, as we can see with Opta data.
 

FLICK'S MEN ALMOST FLAWLESS

Going back 12 months to the start of that remarkable winning stretch, Bayern have played 53 matches in all competitions, winning 46 of them.

In fact, they lost games just twice in the last year, to Hoffenheim 4-1 and Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2, both in the Bundesliga, although there was also a penalty shootout defeat to Holstein Kiel that ensured they will not defend their Pokal crown this season.

While dominating, Bayern have mainly been a great watch, scoring 157 goals (2.96 per game) and conceding 51 (0.96 per game). Indeed, those 53 games yielded only 21 Bayern clean sheets.

The standout results were obvious, scoring eight in games against both Barcelona and Schalke, but they also netted six versus Hoffenheim and Salzburg, plus five in clashes with Eintracht Frankfurt (twice), Fortuna Dusseldorf and Mainz.
 

OLD GUARD THE STANDOUT STARS

Bayern have a wealth of exciting young talents, but they relied heavily on their experienced campaigners over this glorious stretch.

Thomas Muller (51), Manuel Neuer (50) and David Alaba (48) led Bayern in appearances over the past year. Neuer was named in the starting XI on the most occasions - every time he played.

Robert Lewandowski has been unsurprisingly the leading marksman with his 49 goals in 45 games, but Joshua Kimmich came to the fore in terms of assists, his 23 - along with nine goals - coming from 43 matches.

Kimmich had one more assist than Muller, despite the forward creating 141 chances to his team-mate's 108.

With Neuer playing all but three of the 53 matches, he accounted for 20 of Bayern's 21 clean sheets - Alexander Nubel earned the other - and made 139 saves.

Niklas Sule, at 91.9 per cent of 1,656, was the most accurate passer to start a game, although he trailed the team's most prominent passers by some distance; Alaba played 3,743 at 88.2 per cent accuracy.

Alaba (4,210) also led the way in terms of touches ahead of Kimmich (4,089), who was beaten in terms of tackles by the slightly surprising figure of Serge Gnabry (76).

Hansi Flick can still see room for improvement from his Bayern Munich side despite brushing aside Schalke 4-0 to move seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

The reigning champions capitalised on RB Leipzig's shock defeat at Mainz by seeing off Schalke, the division's bottom side, at the Veltins-Arena on Sunday.

Thomas Muller scored either side of Robert Lewandowski's record-breaking goal - netting in an eighth successive away league match - before David Alaba got in on the act in the final minute.

Bayern did not have things all their own way in the first half, though, with Manuel Neuer reacting well to keep out Mark Uth's header from the best of Schalke's opportunities.

Flick is pleased his side have rediscovered their form with three wins in a row since suffering back-to-back losses earlier this month, but he acknowledged there is still more to come.

"I'm not entirely happy with what we showed," he told Sky Sport. "We scored four goals, but we should have done better, especially with the way we positioned ourselves.

"However, I am very satisfied with the nine points with have obtained from the last three games. After defeats to Holstein Kiel [in the DFB-Pokal] and Monchengladbach, it was important to find stability.

"We now have a certain cushion, but it is still important that we approach every game the way we have approached the last few games, that we perform 100 per cent. 

"We're going to take two days off now. This is important to clear your head from time to time. From Wednesday, we will then prepare intensively for Hoffenheim."

Bayern have now kept clean sheets in successive league games for the first time this term, with Neuer making three saves in total - all in the first half.

Neuer's 197th shutout is a new Bundesliga record, surpassing Bayern great Oliver Kahn, but it was bittersweet coming against his beleaguered boyhood club.

Schalke are bottom of the division with one win from 18 games but Neuer is hopeful they can avoid the drop.

"Obviously, it's difficult for them against teams like us," he said. "I think that they have to beat two or three clubs that are in the lower half of the table, one after the other.

"I wish the Schalke players luck that they can stay in the league and that they can still turn the tide. Of course, I'll keep my fingers crossed for that."

Of his own team's display, which saw Bayern register a season-high 31 shots, Neuer said: "We improved and still had one or two more scoring chances. 

"We certainly would have signed for a 4-0 win beforehand."

Meanwhile, Muller's double took him to nine goals in 18 Bundesliga games this season, already beating his tally from the entirety of 2019-20.

The forward, who scored a clinical header in each half, echoed the thoughts of Flick in saying his side were slightly flattered by the margin of the scoreline.

"We neglected some aspects of our game," Muller said. "We besieged the opposing goal in the first half, played a few chances well, but the last action was missing.

"Overall, you noticed that when we increased the pace and played our game, we were always able to get ourselves into good final positions. 

"We have won all three games this week and made a giant leap forward in the table. That is what counts."

Bayern Munich fell victim to a "brutally effective" Borussia Monchengladbach in their humbling 3-2 defeat on Friday, according to Hansi Flick.

Robert Lewandowski's penalty – his 20th Bundesliga goal of the season – and a fine strike from Leon Goretzka put Bayern in control of the Bundesliga clash at Borussia-Park inside 26 minutes.

However, a wayward pass from Benjamin Pavard led to a quick break that finished with Jonas Hofmann scoring, and the Gladbach midfielder was played onside by Niklas Sule as he doubled his tally before half-time after Joshua Kimmich was caught in possession by Lars Stindl.

Sule then gave the ball to Hofmann inside his own half four minutes after the restart and Florian Neuhaus subsequently atoned for conceding the first-half spot-kick with a bizarre handball by netting the winner.

Gladbach consequently became the first team since Cologne in February 2011 to beat Bayern in a Bundesliga game after falling 2-0 down.

"We had hoped for a different ending to this game and expected it, but in the end we were punished. We lost the ball unnecessarily three times and the opposition was brutally effective in finishing those chances," Flick told a post-match news conference.

"When you ask me how to prevent that, on the one hand you have to keep the mistakes to a minimum, or avoid them, and on the other hand you have to cover your deep positions twice.

"We suffered similar situations on their first two goals. Hofmann went deep from midfield and we moved forward too quickly and opened the centre without covering the deep position, and with the second we should have kept going and covering the positions.

"That shouldn't happen and it's not a nice situation to be in, but a defeat, even if it's Bayern Munich, is part of the game. In the second half the team tried everything to achieve a positive result but unfortunately it didn't work."

Manuel Neuer has now conceded in 10 straight Bundesliga games for the first time in his career, with Bayern letting in 16 goals since their last clean sheet against Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24.

Bayern have conceded 24 goals through 15 matches in the top flight this season, the most they have shipped at this point of a Bundesliga campaign since 1981-82.

Flick added: "I've said it a few times, we are making too many mistakes. You can't deny that the team tried to win.

"We had to fight today, we knew it would be a difficult game. Don't forget [Gladbach] is a team that played in the Champions League against top opposition and prevailed, so we needed this compact team performance and we showed – with the exception of these three situations.

"But of course, we're not satisfied with the result. We all know we need to show even more concentration in our defensive work in the crucial moments. We have to cover the deep positions and that's the challenge we have, and we have to improve in the coming weeks."

Bayern are back in action against 2. Bundesliga side Holstein Kiel in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday.

Jonas Hofmann played a pivotal role as Borussia Monchengladbach incredibly came from two goals down to defeat Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich 3-2 on Friday.

Robert Lewandowski scored his 20th top-flight goal of the season from the penalty spot after an inexplicable handball from Florian Neuhaus, and Leon Goretzka had Bayern cruising at Borussia-Park in the 26th minute.

However, Hofmann struck twice in the space of 10 minutes to send the teams into half-time level and Neuhaus atoned for his earlier error with what proved to be the winner in the 49th minute.

Gladbach consequently became the first team since Cologne in February 2011 to defeat Bayern in the Bundesliga after falling 2-0 down.

Lewandowski put Bayern in front from the penalty spot following a bizarre handball by Neuhaus, though referee Harm Osmers only pointed to the spot after a VAR check.

Bayern doubled their advantage six minutes later, Goretzka intercepting Matthias Ginter's pass and drilling a venomous effort past Yann Sommer after a one-two with Leroy Sane.

Gladbach reduced the deficit when Rami Bensebaini regained the ball high up the pitch and a quick passing move ended with Hofmann sliding Lars Stindl's throughball past Manuel Neuer.

The hosts drew level in first-half stoppage time when Stindl dispossessed Joshua Kimmich and fed Hofmann for another cool finish - the VAR confirming he was onside when the pass was played.

Gladbach completed the turnaround four minutes after the restart, Hofmann intercepting Niklas Sule's pass and teeing up Neuhaus to curl a wonderful effort into the top-right corner.

Marco Rose's men sat deep and Ginter cleared a header from Sule off the line in the 91st minute, opening the door for RB Leipzig to replace Bayern at the Bundesliga summit if they can beat Borussia Dortmund in a mouthwatering clash on Saturday.

What does it mean? Worries at the back for Flick

Bayern's defensive struggles continued against Gladbach, with Neuer now on a 10-game run without a clean sheet in the Bundesliga for the first time in his career.

He was not helped by Benjamin Pavard giving away possession prior to Hofmann's first, while Sule played a role in allowing the other two Gladbach goals.

Securing the future of David Alaba, who will be out of contract at the end of the season, never seemed quite so important.

Having it Lars

Most teams would think the game is beyond them when falling 2-0 down to Bayern, but Gladbach captain Stindl led by example to turn the game around. He set up both of Hofmann's goals with a pair of quality passes and contested 11 duels before being substituted in the 82nd minute.

Sluggish Sule

Sule replaced Jerome Boateng in the centre of defence but endured a disappointing outing. He played Hofmann onside for the equaliser just before half-time and within minutes of the restart his stray pass resulted in Neuhaus putting Gladbach in front.

What's next?

Bayern are in DFB-Pokal action against 2. Bundesliga side Holstein Kiel on Wednesday, while Gladbach have a week to prepare for a Bundesliga clash with Stuttgart.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is enduring the worst run of his Bundesliga career.

With Jonas Hofmann's goal in the 35th minute of Bayern's meeting with Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday, Neuer failed to keep a clean sheet for the 10th straight top-flight game.

It is the first time the 34-year-old keeper has conceded in 10 successive Bundesliga matches during his 15 seasons in the competition.

Neuer's previous worst streak was a run of nine games between September and December in 2018.

The last time Bayern kept a clean sheet in the Bundesliga was in their 5-0 triumph over Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24.

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