Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller says his side have no choice but to cope with their mounting injury concerns ahead of Wednesday’s DFB-Pokal quarter-final against Bayer Leverkusen.
Pep Guardiola’s side were 1-0 victors over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday but approach their midweek cup clash with something of a depleted squad.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribery (both ankle) will miss the trip to the BayArena, while Arjen Robben (stomach) and David Alaba (knee) are also absent.
Holger Badstuber could feature, but even the versatile defender’s potential return does little to mask the scale of the problems Guardiola will need to deal with in his bid to keep Bayern’s treble hopes alive.
Having been on the defensive for large spells at Signal Iduna Park, Muller also stated Bayern could not afford to sit back on Wednesday.
“We have to make the best of [the injury crisis] as a team and salvage the situation, we’ll still have a super team out on the field,” he explained.
“Leverkusen are in good shape and it certainly won’t hurt on Wednesday if we show the same utter determination to win as we did in Dortmund.
“It’s a knockout match and there’s such a lot at stake so we won’t throw caution to the wind, we’ll defend well as a team. But parking the bus on the edge of our own penalty area isn’t our new tactical plan.”
Leverkusen come into the game in buoyant mood on the back of a six-match winning streak in domestic competition.
Saturday’s 4-0 Bundesliga win over Hamburg will instil further confidence in ending Bayern’s 15-match winning run in the Pokal that stretches back to the final of 2012.
While coach Roger Schmidt acknowledged that Guardiola’s side will be affected by the injury concerns, he preferred to focus on his side’s development.
“Their playing structure has changed somewhat but much more important is our state and that is very good,” he said.
“This is a good basis, as we have shown in both directions a cohesive team performance. We have to use our offensive options very well and also defend well, defend bravely.
“[We have developed], especially when it comes to deciding games. We will give everything again.”
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