Bayern Munich have injury concerns for Tuesday’s Champions League match at home to Dinamo Zagreb with Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal their latest star to miss out with a knee injury.
“I think Arturo will not be there,” said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola in Monday’s press conference as Vidal came off early in the second-half of Saturday’s 3-0 Bundesliga win at Mainz.
Sebstian Rode, a likely replacement in midfield, will also be missing with a minor injury, meaning Guardiola is short on options in his star-studded squad.
“We are down to about 14, or 15, players, so we’ll need to call up one or two from the reserve team,” admitted Guardiola as leaders Bayern also host second-placed Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
Winger Arjen Robben is still not available as he recovers from a groin injury, while long-term casualties Franck Ribery, Holger Badstuber, Medhi Benatia and Jan Kirchhoff are all out.
The Croatian double winners are on an incredible 45-match unbeaten run in all competitions and enjoyed a 2-1 home win over 10-man Arsenal in their Champions League group phase opener.
“They are a very defensive team, they are quick on the wing and are a very physical side which doesn’t give you much team to think,” said Guardiola in summary of Zagreb.
“They are a good team, but this is the Champions League and you have to expect that.”
But Bayern defender Jerome Boateng says winning runs are made to be broken.
“It’s an impressive run, but perhaps it’s time that they lose a game and if we have a chance to beat them, why not?” said the Germany international.
With Ribery and Robben sidelined, Brazil international Douglas Costa and France Under-21 forward Kingsley Coman are shoo-ins on the wings, but Guardiola expects Netherlands captain Robben and French star Ribery to return.
“I think they will both be back and it’s good for the club to have these two young players, but it’s not the case that they are here now and the older players are history,” said Guardiola.
“Look at what Robben and Ribery have achieved for us in the past and they still have contracts here.”
Polish striker Robert Lewandowski is on an incredible goal-scoring run having netted seven times in his last two games for Bayern and he passed the 100 Bundesliga goal milestone after scoring twice at Mainz.
Bayern won all six home games in last season’s Champions League competition and are targeting a fifth straight semi-final appearance. – Agence France-Presse