Franck Ribery will be available for Bayern Munich in their Champions League last-16 clash against Liverpool today after the birth of his new baby. Bayern had originally left Ribery out of their matchday squad for their mouthwatering visit to Anfield, but the Frenchman has now decided to join up with his team-mates. They will get together in Liverpool, with Ribery flying separately from the rest of the team, who boarded their flight from Munich on Monday morning.
Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer and Kingsley Coman were among the stars who wore smart club suits for the two-hour flight to Liverpool. One-time Arsenal youngster Serge Gnabry, now 23 and a Germany international, was also on the plane. Boss Niko Kovac confirmed, however, that Jerome Boateng is certain to miss the game with stomach flu.
Boateng missed the 3-2 win at Augsburg on Friday night, with Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule partnering up in the heart of the defense. Ribery, who at the age of 35 still remains a key figure in Bayern’s attack, only came on from the bench for the final 26 minutes, with Gnabry and Coman used on the wings. Coman scored twice against Augsburg before being taken off injured, but he is also available to face Liverpool after he brushed off the scare involving his troublesome ankle.
Ribery’s fellow veteran winger, Arjen Robben, was ruled out of the game some time ago due to continuing problems with a thigh injury which has kept him on the sidelines since November. Two more key men in midfielder Corentin Tolisso and Thomas Muller are also missing. Tolisso is recovering from a serious knee injury while Muller is serving a suspension for his appalling head-high kick on Ajax’s Nicholas Tagliafico in December.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes the Anfield crowd can take his side “from 100% to 140%” as they host Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16. The first leg against the Bundesliga champions takes place today while the Reds travel to Munich on 13 March. “We have to create an atmosphere on the pitch tomorrow [Tuesday] and make it easier for the people,” said Klopp. “It will be outstanding tomorrow night. It’s something to enjoy – there’s a lot of power involved in the atmosphere.” A 1-0 win against Napoli ensured Liverpool finished runners-up to Paris St-Germain in Group C, while Niko Kovac’s Munich will host the second leg after progressing as Group E winners. “Playing home first is not usually an advantage but we don’t care,” said Klopp.
“There are two legs to play. Let’s create a basis we can use in the second game. “Our crowd is really able to push us from 100% to 140%.” Bayern ‘dangerous’ despite slow start to season Former Borussia Dortmund manager Klopp had numerous battles with Munich during his seven seasons in the Bundesliga.