Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bayern handed double boost as Ribery and Gotze return

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 19 Feb 2016

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Pep Guardiola has confirmed long-term absentees Franck Ribery and Mario Gotze are fit to feature against Darmstadt on Saturday, ahead of Bayern Munich’s Champions League clash with Juventus.

Ribery has not played for the German champions since early December due to a thigh problem, but the Frenchman was an unused substitute last weekend in the win against Augsburg.

Gotze has been sidelined since October after picking up an adductor problem while on international duty with Germany but both are set to feature this weekend.

January signing Serdar Tasci is in line for a debut, after suffering concussion in training shortly after joining, with all three due to gain valuable minutes before Bayern’s last-16 first-leg trip to Juve on Tuesday. 

When asked about Gotze and Ribery, Guardiola told reporters: “They are ready, they are fit. We have to see how many minutes they have in them.

“[Tasci] has got a lot of character, good vision and he’s great on the ball. I’m happy to have him.”

Defender Mehdi Benatia could return to the squad against Darmstadt following a muscular injury as Bayern seek to extend their lead at the top against opponents who have impressed on the road this term.

Five of their six Bundesliga wins this season have come away from home, and Guardiola added: “We cannot take Darmstadt lightly.

“They are, after ourselves and Borussia Dortmund, the third best away team in the league [joint with Bayer Leverkusen].”

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