Tuesday 22 January 2019

Franck Ribery blow as Bayern try to overhaul Porto

Franck Ribbery
Franck Ribbery

France winger Franck Ribery is highly unlikely to recover from an ankle injury in time to feature for Bayern Munich in the Champions League fixture against

Porto, coach Pep Guardiola (below) said on the eve of the match yesterday.

Ribery has been out for more than a month and Guardiola said it was more likely the player would miss the second leg of the quarter-final in Munich as the Germans look to recover from a stunning 3-1 defeat in Portugal last week.

"I do not think that Franck can play," Guardiola told reporters. "I will speak with the our doctor but my feeling is that he can't make it."

Guardiola's hopes of turning the tie around have been hampered by a string of injury absences, including to key players Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Javi Martinez and Medhi Benatia. Bastian Schweinsteiger is also fighting to get fit in time for the game and Guardiola said the Germany captain would train with the team late yesterday for the first time.

"I do not know who will play or who can play. In the past months, I always decided on my lineup an hour before the game.

"Bastian Schweinsteiger will today train again for the first time and the more players I have the better," Guardiola added.

The Spaniard, who wore a T-shirt made by the family of an Argentine journalist killed in a car crash at last year's World Cup, said his team would try everything to overturn the first-leg deficit despite the injury problems.

"It makes no sense to be on the pitch if you don't want to turn it around. We want to turn it around," he said.

Bayern remain on course for a treble, leading the Bundesliga by 12 points with five games remaining and drawn against Borussia Dortmund in a German Cup semi-final.

The Bavarians won the treble under then coach Jupp Heynckes in 2013, just before Guardiola took over.

"I am completely convinced that my players will take their chances. I know which club I am at and know that (league) champions and cup winners is not enough. Only the treble is enough," he added.

bayern munich v PORTO, LIVE TV3/SKY SPORTS 1 (ko 7.45)

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