Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Ribery, Goetze ready to pile pressure on Plzen

Reuters, BERLIN

Germany’s Mario Goetze, center front, celebrates after scoring against Sweden in their FIFA World Cup Group C qualifying match at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday last week.

Photo: EPA

Holders Bayern Munich are likely to have fit-again pair Franck Ribery and Mario Goetze available to heap more misery on UEFA Champions League Group D strugglers Viktoria Plzen today.

An ankle injury kept playmaker Ribery out of Saturday’s 4-1 win over FSV Mainz 05, a victory that kept the Bavarians on top of the Bundesliga and still undefeated in three competitions.

“The injury was not that bad,” Ribery told reporters. “I wanted to play against Mainz, but the doctor said it would be too big a risk.”

“I hope I can play in the Champions League,” added the playmaker, who has been in sparkling form for last season’s Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB Pokal treble winners.

Goetze, who had been out injured since late August, played superbly after coming on as a substitute against Mainz.

“What is important for me is to play now for a long period of time,” the midfielder said after setting up three of Bayern’s four goals on Saturday. “The game with Germany against Sweden [last week] and the game against Mainz did me a lot of good. The more I play, the fitter I get.”

However, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola will be without central defender Dante against Plzen, who are rock bottom after losing both games in Group D.

The Brazilian cut his leg against Mainz and is expected to be out for about 10 days.

Plzen were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City before letting slip the chance to secure a draw at CSKA Moscow when goalkeeper Matus Kozacik allowed a back-pass from a defender to roll into the net as the Russian club won 3-2 earlier this month.

Coach Pavel Vrba said his team would have to improve their defending and eliminate the sort of mistakes that have crept in recently.

“It is not normal how we have played in defense lately,” Vrba said. “If we don’t improve it will be very bad against Bayern because they will certainly punish our mistakes.”

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