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Injury concerns

Robben, Costa and Alaba out of Gladbach trip

FC Bayern are battling with a lengthening injury roster in the run-in to the Bundesliga’s winter break. In a repeat of the situation for last weekend’s meeting with Hertha Berlin, boss Pep Guardiola will again be without top trio Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa and David Alaba for the big match away to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday, with Thiago and Juan Bernat also not yet match fit. Mario Götze (groin) is the sixth regular unavailable on Matchday 15.

Robben (persistent calf problems), Thiago and Bernat could resume the team training programme next week, but Alaba is facing a longer spell on the sidelines: the ankle injury sustained by the Austrian utility man away to Schalke has proved more serious than originally thought. “He won’t play again before the winter break,” Guardiola announced. “I hope he’ll be able to train with us at the start of the New Year.”

Costa will also miss the upcoming games against Gladbach, Dinamo Zagreb, Darmstadt and Ingolstadt. The Brazilian is struggling to shake off a thigh sprain. Guardiola said it was “possible” the winger could be fit again in time for the last match of the year away to Hannover, but the coach is keen to take “no risks” in the light of the current crop of injuries. “What matters is that they’re all 100 percent fit after the winter break.”