Injured Mueller, Neuer will play Real, says Ancelotti
Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer and Thomas Mueller are sidelined for Tuesday’s league match at Hoffenheim, but will be fit for next week’s crunch Real Madrid clash, coach Carlo Ancelotti said Monday.
Runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern travel to third-placed Hoffenheim on a 20-match unbeaten streak without Germany’s goalkeeper Neuer and forward Mueller.
Neuer is sidelined after a small foot operation last week, while Mueller limped out of Saturday’s 6-0 home win against Augsburg with an ankle injury after scoring two goals.
Ancelotti expects Mueller, like Neuer, to be fit for next week’s mouth-watering Champions League’s home leg quarter-final against Real, but there is a question mark for Saturday’s league match against Dortmund.
“He (Mueller) just needs two days of rest and we’ll see if he can play again against Dortmund,” said Ancelotti.
“We are sure he will be ready to face Real Madrid,” added the Italian.
Neuer missed last month’s Germany internationals and had minor surgery last Wednesday, but Ancelotti says the goalkeeper “has no problem now” and returned to individual training on Monday.
Ancelotti said he is “100 percent sure” Neuer will face Real with the home leg on April 11 and the return in Madrid on April 18.
Brazil wing Douglas Costa should also be fit for the Real game after recovering from a leg injury and is expected to return to team training on Wednesday.
“He’s on plan,” said Ancelotti, “he’s working hard and with a high intensity.”
Spanish playmaker Thiago Alcantara, who scored in the Augsburg romp, is not injured, but will sit out the Hoffenheim match with reserve shot-stopper Sven Ulreich again deputising for Neuer.
“He (Thiago) has played a lot of games recently, so I have decided to give him a break,” explained Ancelotti.
Javi Martinez and Xabi Alonso are expected to return to the starting line-up after missing Saturday’s game with suspension.
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