Celtic vs Bayern Munich - Rodgers takes little comfort in absence of Muller and Lewandowski

Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2017 by PA

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers will take little succour from the absence of two "world class" Bayern Munich players ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League clash at Parkhead.

Germany World Cup-winner Thomas Muller, who scored in the 3-0 Group B win against the Hoops earlier in the month, was already out before the Bundesliga side confirmed that Robert Lewandowski had not travelled to Glasgow with his team-mates.

The Poland striker picked up a thigh injury after scoring in the 2-0 Bundesliga win over RB Leipzig at the weekend, leaving the German giants light in the central striker's role - although they have included under-19 forward Manuel Wintzheimer in their squad.

Juan Bernat, Manuel Neuer and Franck Ribery also remain on the sidelines through injury but Rodgers believes Bayern will have more than enough quality in their squad to prove tough opposition.

He said: "Of course it is two players who have been world class consistently for a number of years.

"Lewandowski is one of the world's best strikers with his movement, his speed and the quality, and he has been consistently doing that for few years.

"And Muller is a player who I have always loved in terms of wherever he has played, whether a striker, or on the right, or as he did against us, an advanced midfield player.

"He is a very gifted player and his will and desire to play well is always there.

"So those two players, of course, will be a miss for them but they have some very good players behind that to come in like James Rodriguez, who came in and scored in one of the last few games.

"They are a talented team, they have been put together to win this competition so we know the magnitude of the test but it is one that we will relish."

Rodgers will be without Patrick Roberts after the winger picked up a hamstring injury in Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Kilmarnock in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Midfielder Olivier Ntcham has recovered from an ankle knock but Anthony Ralston remains out with a knee problem while fellow defenders Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko are still working their way back from respective hamstring and knee injuries.

Jupp Heynckes, meanwhile, has warned Celtic he has the "solution" to Bayern Munich's attacking injury problems.

The Bayern boss said: "Obviously Muller and Lewandowski being injured was unexpected but I will find a solution.

"There might be a possibility of playing 4-4-2 but we will make that decision tomorrow.

"Every team faces difficulties with injuries, many other teams in the Champions League experience the same but we find solutions.

"While Arturo (Vidal) is very fast and very good up front I have a different plan for tomorrow.

"I have not worked often with Wintzheimer, I don't know him well enough and, as I said before, there might be some other solutions."

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