Bayern Munich take a slender 1-0 lead into their Champions League semifinal second-leg clash with Lyon on Tuesday although coach Louis van Gaal will have to plan without some of his star performers.
The Dutchman will definitely be without suspended midfield star Franck Ribery and Danijel Pranjic while Daniel van Buyten and Martin Demichelis are injury doubts.
Anatoli Timoschtschuk also pulled out on Monday with a stomach infection.
Ribery’s absence piles even more pressure on first-leg goal-scoring hero Arjen Robben but van Gaal remained positive about Bayern’s chances of remaining in the frame for a first Champions League title since 2001.
“We normally always score an away goal which would leave Lyon needing to score three,” he said.
Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger described the tie as “a great chance we have to take” while Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said he was convinced the team would put up a great fight.
“The team deserves to make the final,” said Rummenigge.
“We need to put in a top performance,” said Bayern goalkeeper Joerg Butt. “It will be a hard 90 or even 120 minutes.” Lyon defender Cris appears to be winning his battle to be fit for Tuesday’s clash as the 32-year-old Brazilian continues his recovery from a hip injury picked up in the first leg in Munich.
Jean-Alain Boumsong is also reportedly fit after missing the opening encounter due to a calf strain.
“We have play with the passion and joy that we showed as children on the streets,” Boumsong to the Le Progres newspaper.
Lyon has been able to prepare for the tie since Friday as their weekend league match against AS Monaco was rescheduled for May 12.
Coach Claude Puel is expected to select an offensively-minded line-up with Lisandro Lopez partnering Sidney Govou up front.
“We have to show a completely different attitude and mentality on the day,” said the Argentine striker. “We were too defensive (in the Allianz Arena) and need to be more courageous and spirited if we want to turn the tie around.” Puel was obviously delighted to be able to have nearly a week’s rest ahead of the second leg.
“My players have benefited physically from the break, it’s naturally a plus. However, I’m under no illusions about the challenge we face. This is a very strong-performing team but this time around we will match them,” he said.
“Together with our fans we’ll fight for a place in the final.”