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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Pep aiming to blitz Atletico

Ribery passed fit for semi clash

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has recovered from a back injury in time for their Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid tonight, coach Pep Guardiola said.

The Germans, chasing a treble of titles this season, must overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Spain last week if they are to reach their first final since 2013.

"Today Franck trained with us and he is here with us," Guardiola said yesterday. "He is an option for us and that is very good."

Ribery missed Bayern's league game on Saturday against Borussia Moenchengladbach and fellow winger Arjen Robben is already sidelined through injury.

Guardiola, whose Bayern have stumbled at the semi-final stage in the past two season against Spanish teams, will leave after three seasons in charge with the Champions League trophy that has been eluding him in Munich.

"It is the third semi-final in a row for us. It is a real honour," he said. "We need our best performance to reach the final. We must not think about how many goals we have to score, first we need to defend well and control the game."

"It is difficult to play against Atletico. They stay very tight. But we will do all we can to fight our way through that. We will try to attack with the whole team and not give away any counter attacks," he said.

Bayern lost to Real Madrid at the same stage two years ago and Barcelona last year.

"Obviously this game is important but it was equally important against Real and Barcelona," Guardiola, who will join Manchester City next season.

"But this is a new year and a new opportunity for us."

Guardiola can also count again on central defender Jerome Boateng who returned to action on Saturday in the Bundesliga after a month-long injury break. "I don't know how long he will play. He was long out injured, he played 65 minutes (on Saturday). We will see," the Spaniard said.

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