Coutinho will not start for Bayern on Saturday - Kovac

Philippe Coutinho (Getty Images)
Philippe Coutinho (Getty Images)

Berlin - Brazilian star midfielder Philippe Coutinho will not make his first Bundesliga start when Bayern Munich travel to Schalke on Saturday, said coach Niko Kovac Thursday. 

Coutinho, 27, has been the talk of Germany since joining Bayern on a one-year loan deal from Barcelona earlier this week.

Yet at a press conference on Thursday, Kovac confirmed the Brazilian would begin his first game as a Bayern player on the bench.

"He is not quite at the level of fitness he needs to play for 90 minutes," said Kovac.

"He has said that himself, and we don't want to take any risks. He has only been training for the last two weeks, so he needs to catch up," he added, but confirmed Coutinho would be in the matchday squad.

"I know a lot of people want us to play him straight away, but everything has to be right."

Kovac said Bayern's other new attacking signing, Croatia winger Ivan Perisic, could make the starting eleven against Schalke. 

"Ivan is much further along, he started training at the same time as we did, and played several games for Inter Milan in pre-season," he said. 

Bayern are under pressure to pick up three points against David Wagner's Schalke side, having been held to a draw in their opening Bundesliga game against Hertha Berlin last week.

Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
45% - 5582 votes
Cricket
11% - 1384 votes
Football
18% - 2317 votes
Athletics
2% - 280 votes
Boxing
1% - 109 votes
Cycling
2% - 283 votes
Golf
5% - 614 votes
Motorsport
8% - 992 votes
Tennis
3% - 393 votes
Water sports
1% - 109 votes
American sports
1% - 119 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 361 votes
Vote