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Thursday 17 August 2017

Zidane worries more about his own team than Bayern

R Madrid v B Munich, Live, RTE2, KO 7.45

Carlo Ancelotti
Carlo Ancelotti

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti has admitted star striker Robert Lewandowski remains a major doubt for his side's Champions League quarter-final first leg clash with Real Madrid.

Lewandowski suffered a shoulder injury during last weekend's Bundesliga win over Borussia Dortmund and lasted only 20 minutes of a training session this week as he fights to be fit.

Ancelotti told a press conference: "He has been training, just 20 minutes because he has problems with his shoulder, but we had a good feeling beforehand.

"We will finally decide whether he can play on Wednesday - if he is in pain, he won't play.

"I don't know if he will feel better (on Wednesday) but that will not change our idea or our strategy, nor our self-confidence. We know how important Lewandowski is, but we can be strong without him."

Ancelotti expects to be able to welcome back goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after his recent injury but defender Mats Hummels is definitely out after damaging ankle ligaments on Sunday.

The Italian is relishing the chance to face his former club for the first time since he left the Bernabeu in 2015, and linking up once again with his former assistant Zinedine Zidane.

Ancelotti added: "I like him very much and I am very happy with how he is working and of course had a fantastic quality as a player.

"In my time at Real, he was an excellent assistant coach who could help with the charisma and experience, and when I got to know him I changed some of my ideas about football."

Zidane himself does not believe their familiarity is of much consequence ahead of the tussle. He said: "We know each other very well, but that doesn't mean anything: it's not an advantage or a disadvantage.

"We're not lining up against Carlo."

Despite his side sitting on top of the La Liga table Zidane will go into the game under some pressure with talk that some of his superstars are not happy with his squad rotation policy.

Cristiano Ronaldo has not been performing to his usual heights this season while Gareth Bale has struggled for form. Zidane also has a shortage of options in defence with Pepe and Raphael Varane ruled out for both legs, Pepe having suffered a double rib fracture in last Saturday's 1-1 draw with city rivals Atletico.

Zidane added of Real's opponents: "I don't fear Bayern, I'm more bothered about what we do."

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