Bayern Munich's Ribery, Rafinha fit for Hamburg clash

Reuters , Friday 13 Feb 2015

Franck Ribery
Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery celebrates a goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart in Munich, Saturday Sept. 13, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich will have winger Franck Ribery and defender Rafinha back in the squad for Saturday's league game against Hamburg SV, coach Pep Guardiola said on Friday.

The pair had been out injured for the last few weeks as Bayern stuttered in the new year.

The German champions had been near flawless in the first half of the campaign, but have managed just one win in their opening three league games so far.

"Franck Ribery and Rafinha are back and they trained with the team," Guardiola told a news conference. "They are fit and they are an option."

The Spaniard will not have suspended central defender Jerome Boateng at his disposal as they look to build on last week's 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart.

"We built up our game up too slowly in Stuttgart, we have to do that better because the game against Hamburg is a crucial one."

Bayern are eight points clear of second-placed VfL Wolfsburg, who are in superb form and look even sharper with the addition of Germany international Andre Schuerrle, who set up two goals in his Wolfsburg debut last week.

Bayern have scored four goals and let in five in the three games they have played since the winter break, more than in the entire first half of the season.

"I am not concerned about my strikers, more about our playing style," Guardiola said. "What is important is to create more scoring chances and the creation of our plays are important. Not just how many kilometres we cover."

What Guardiola has on his side is tradition with no other Bundesliga team having conceded more goals in Munich. In their last four visits to the Allianz Arena alone, Hamburg have conceded a staggering 23 goals, including a 9-2 demolition in 2013.

But the Bayern coach, whose men take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg next week, warned his players they needed to improve quickly.

"If we play the way we have in the first three games (of the year) then we will have problems in the Bundesliga and we won't have any chances in the Champions League," said Guardiola.

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