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Neuer rested, Thiago back for Zagreb trip

Manuel Neuer is excused duty for Wednesday’s trip to face Dinamo Zagreb, but Thiago and Franck Ribéry are in the squad for FC Bayern’s final Champions League fixture of the year. Pep Guardiola has opted to rest his number one for the Group F encounter with the Croatian double winners as the world’s best keeper has appeared in all Bayern’s competitive games this term, with the exception of the DFB Cup first round meeting with FC Nöttingen.

By contrast, Thiago resumes squad duty after recovering from a knee injury. The 24-year-old Spaniard completed Tuesday morning’s pre-match training session at the Säbener Strasse and is joined on the plane to Zagreb by Franck Ribéry, who made a long-awaited comeback from a nine-month lay-off in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Mönchengladbach.

“The game is obviously a dead rubber,” FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said prior to the squad’s departure for Zagreb. Bayern have 12 points from their five matches so far and can no longer be dislodged from top spot in the group. However, Rummenigge noted, points for UEFA’s five-year coefficient ranking are at stake, “and also Champions League bonus payments.”

The squad for the contest at Maksimir Stadium includes young hopefuls Julian Green, Fabian Benko, Niklas Dorsch and backup keeper David Hundertmark. Munich are definitely without Holger Badstuber, who serves a one-match ban, and injured quintet Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Douglas Costa, Mario Götze and Juan Bernat.

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