Lahm to cover Bayern centre-back crisis
Bayern Munich will be without their two centre-backs Dante and Jerome Boateng against Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday.
“We have Philipp Lahm,” Pep Guardiola said about a possible candidate for the centre-back position. Franck Ribery is set to return to the team and Spain international Javi Martinez could also return to the Bayern squad.
- Schaaf: Possibilities against Plzen
Bayern comfortably top their Champions League group with two wins against Manchester City and Spartak Moscow. With back-to-back fixtures against the Czech outsiders Viktoria Plzen coming up in the next 14 days, the title holders could qualify for the knockout stages by early November.
“We only have one match, not two,” Guardiola told the press conference on Tuesday. “The most important thing are those three points in the next game.”
The Catalan coach will be without his usual centre-back pairing Dante, injured, and Jerome Boateng, suspended following his red card against City.
“We have Daniel van Buyten, we have Jan Kirchhoff and then there is Philipp Lahm,” he said.
Lahm, 29, played in holding midfield, but his role in that position is over for now. “He did a great job there. We had problems, and Philipp helped us,” Guardiola said, adding that Lahm would now return to defence, usually to the right-back position.
Guardiola will be able to welcome Franck Ribery, who missed the Bundesliga game against Mainz at the weekend, back to the Bayern team and might as well call Spain international Javi Martinez up to the squad for the first time in nearly two months. “He has trained well, I’ll make the decision tomorrow,” Guardiola said.
Also back in the squad, and maybe even back in Bayern’s starting XI is Mario Goetze, who has received a lot of praise for his two latest appearances for Germany and Bayern.
“Currently, I don’t know how many minutes he will get and whether he’ll start or play in the second half,” Guardiola said of the Germany midfielder, before praising Goetze as “a special player” who “needs little room to make the right decisions.”
“He has been injured for three, four months. Now he gets better every day. I don’t like it when players are injured or doing sports rehab,” Guardiola said, and reiterated: “Mario is special."