presented by
Six players sidelined

Robben set for subs’ bench on Tuesday

Increase font size Text size

Six men are unavailable, but Arjen Robben will be named in the Bayern squad for Tuesday evening’s pivotal Champions League group stage meeting with Girondins Bordeaux. Dutch superstar Robben is ready to return after surgery, but is not yet fit enough to feature in the starting line-up, Louis van Gaal announced on Monday.

“He won’t manage 90 minutes. He might be OK for 30 or 35,” reported van Gaal: “But he’s always scored when he’s come on as a sub, so he could be crucial for us.” Van Gaal is definitely without injured pair Franck Ribéry and Ivica Olic, suspended duo Daniel van Buyten and Thomas Müller, and defenders Breno and Christian Lell, who are both ill.

Demichelis to start

Edson Braafheid came away from Saturday’s Bundesliga encounter away to Stuttgart complaining of an ankle problem and is rated doubtful for Tuesday’s match. Even including the Netherlands full-back, Van Gaal would only have 18 fit players. “I might have to call up one of the reserves,” the 58-year-old said.

Martin Demichelis will take over at centre-half from the previously ever-present Van Buyten. “I have a great deal of faith in Demichelis,” observed Van Gaal. The Argentina regular has appeared twice as a substitute since a lengthy injury lay-off, “and he played very well,” the coach commented.

Undecided over Müller stand-in

Van Gaal has not yet decided who will step in to cover for Müller on the left side of midfield. “We’ll see about it in the morning,” the boss remarked. The likely candidates for the position are Danijel Pranjic and Bastian Schweinsteiger.