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Bayern Munich seek victory in Rostov without key players

News Desk
Published: 23 November 2016 Wednesday, 08:00  AM

Bayern Munich seek victory in Rostov without key players

Bonn, Nov 22 (deutschenews24.de/dpa) --   Bayern Munich will be without Arturo Vidal, Arjen Robben and Javi Martinez as they seek a Champions League win at Rostov on Wednesday to keep alive hopes of topping their group.

The German champions had already decided to rest goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who has a tight calf muscle.

Dutch winger Robben, Spain midfielder Martinez and Chile midfielder Vidal have not recovered from muscular problems.

France international winger Kingsley Coman remains a longer-term absentee with a knee and ankle injury.

Sven Ulreich will be in goal in Rostov for his season debut. He played in last season`s Champions League group-stage 2-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb.

Bayern have already qualified for the last 16 and are now fighting for top spot in Group D with Atletico Madrid.

Atletico are on a maximum 12 points, three ahead of Bayern, before their home game against PSV Eindhoven.

Victory for Bayern against Rostov - a team they beat 5-0 at home in September - will at least give them a chance of overtaking Atletico on the last matchday, when the two teams come together on December 6 in the Allianz Arena.

"If we win we have a theoretical chance of winning the group ahead of Atletico," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said before the squad left for southern Russia.

Although top spot in the group normally means an advantage for the last-16 draw, the group winners could also face one of the favourites in the knock-out stage.

Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are among teams currently lying in second place in their groups.

"If you have a look at the situation in the other groups it isn`t necessarily an advantage to be first or second," Rummenigge said.

Captain Philipp Lahm said the team would in any case be going all out for victory.

"We want to carry on and have the chance of winning the group on the last matchday, and that means we must win tomorrow," he said.

The match comes two days ahead of Bayern`s annual meeting in which Uli Hoeness is expected to be elected president, an office he vacated before serving a prison term for tax evasion. Hoeness did not travel with the squad to Russia.

The game also follows Bayern`s 1-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund on Saturday which resulted in the record champions losing top spot to promoted Leipzig.

Rummenigge dismissed talk of any doubts surrounding new coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"The coach is an outstanding coach. We are highly satisfied. Just because you have lost a match it`s no reason to start with any stupid chat," he said.

Despite the importance of the result in Rostov, Rummenigge admitted more would be at stake in Saturday`s encounter at home to Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

"The most important game of the week, and I say this without any exaggeration, will take place on Saturday," he said.

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