Injuries pile up for Bayern Munich before Borussia Dortmund derby

Reuters , Thursday 2 Apr 2015

Bayern Munich Vs Borussia Dortmund
Bayern Munich's Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg (L) tackles Borussia Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer during their SuperCup 2014 soccer match in Dortmund August 13, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are struggling with a growing number of injuries but club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes the squad is big enough to challenge Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's big league game.

Bayern top scorer Arjen Robben, nursing a stomach muscle injury and David Alaba, ruled out for seven weeks with a torn knee ligament, are the latest casualties as the champions prepare to travel to Dortmund.

To make matters worse, winger Franck Ribery is doubtful, still struggling with a nagging ankle injury and unclear whether he will be fit in time for the game.

"Alaba's injury is obviously very painful for us," Rummenigge told his club website, following the Austrian fullback's injury while on international duty on Tuesday.

"But we cannot change it and it would be a mistake if Bayern started to lament now," he said adding the Bavarians had enough depth in their squad to compensate for the absences.

"No need to complain about Ribery either. If he does not feel well, if he is in pain then he cannot play."

Bayern have had to deal with injuries to key players this season but have been extremely consistent, losing just twice in the league to open up a 10-point gap at the top as they cruise towards their 25th German league title.

Last season's runners-up Dortmund never got their season off the ground, languishing in last place right after the winter break before a seven-game unbeaten run saw them bounce back and chase a European spot with eight matches left in the campaign.

"One does not have to be a big prophet to know that Borussia Dortmund are not happy with their current position in the table," Rummenigge said.

"But they still have a chance for a Europa League spot. We have to prepare for that and the fact that it will be hard. It will be a difficult game and we have a lot of respect for our opponents."

There is no love lost between the two clubs as Bayern have snapped up Dortmund's Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski in the past seasons, both crowd favourites at the Ruhr valley club.

Dortmund's good run in the past two months has raised hopes among fans of winning the one game that could prove decisive for their season.

Defeat at home would not just be a further prestige blow after their loss in Munich earlier in the season but would also see them lose ground in their bid for a top-six finish with Dortmund in 10th spot on 33 points.

"We have to do a lot of things right, play like we did against Schalke 04 (in a 3-0 win). We want to win if we want to keep an eye on the Europa League," Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang told reporters.

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