MUNICH – Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich will be without Arturo Vidal for Saturday’s prestigious duel with Borussia Dortmund, but veterans Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are raring to go, coach Jupp Heynckes has said.
“Arjen Robben is training like a 25-year-old. Franck Ribery had to be stopped today because he’s so full of energy!” Heynckes told a news conference on Friday.
He added in reference to the 34-year-old wingers: “Both are adored by the fans and know what it’s about in the final stages of the season.”
But Heynckes said that midfielder Vidal and defender Juan Bernat were not fit to play, and that a bruised thigh picked up during Chile duty could possibly sideline Vidal for next week’s Champions league quarter-final at Sevilla as well.
Heynckes also said that centre back Jerome Boateng is fit again after being substituted with a calf muscle problem after being hit there in Germany’s 1-0 defeat against Brazil Tuesday.
Bayern can clinch a record-extending sixth straight Bundesliga title with six games to spare on Saturday, and their first ever in a home game at the Allianz Arena – which opened in 2005 – if they beat Dortmund and second-placed Schalke fail to win against Freiburg.
But Heynckes said “it doesn’t matter when we win the title. I am very relaxed. It’s important that we got ourselves into this position in the Bundesliga despite trailing by five points, which is a fantastic achievement.”
Bayern were behind the then-leaders Dortmund when Heynckes took over from Carlo Ancelotti in late September, but have since recovered and lead by 17 points.