Ribéry likely to miss Porto Champions League tie

(The Guardian) – The France winger Franck Ribéry is highly unlikely to recover from an ankle injury in time to feature for Bayern Munich in the Champions League fixture against Porto, the team’s coach Pep Guardiola has said.

Ribéry has been out for more than a month and Guardiola said it was more likely the player would miss the second leg of the quarter-final in Munich as the Germans look to recover from a stunning 3-1 defeat in Portugal last week.

“I do not think that Franck can play,” Guardiola said. “I will speak with the doctor but my feeling is that he can’t make it.”

Guardiola’s hopes of turning the tie around have been hampered by a string of injury absences, including to key players Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Javi Martínez and Medhi Benatia. Bastian Schweinsteiger is also fighting to be fit in time for the game and Guardiola said the Germany captain would train with the team late on Monday for the first time.

“I do not know who will play or who can play. In the past months, I always decided on my lineup an hour before the game,” said Guardiola. “Bastian Schweinsteiger will today train again for the first time and the more players I have the better.”

The Spaniard, who wore a T-shirt made by the family of an Argentinian journalist killed in a car crash at last year’s World Cup, said his team would try everything to overturn the first leg deficit despite the injury problems. “It makes no sense to be on the pitch if you don’t want to turn it around. We want to turn it around,” he said.

Bayern remain on course for a treble, leading the Bundesliga by 12 points with five games remaining and drawn against Borussia Dortmund in a German Cup semi-final. The Bavarians won the treble under then coach Jupp Heynckes in 2013, just before Guardiola took over.

“I am completely convinced that my players will take their chances. I know which club I am at and know that [league] champions and cup winners is not enough. Only the treble is enough,” he added.


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