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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 21 March, 2018

Boost for Arsenal as key Bayern duo are ruled out of Champions League clash

Carlo Ancelotti must plan without Franck Ribery and Jerome Boateng for tomorrow night’s tie.

Franck Ribery is recovering from a thigh injury.
Franck Ribery is recovering from a thigh injury.

BAYERN MUNICH WILL be without in-form winger Franck Ribery and central defender Jerome Boateng for their Champions League clash against Arsenal tomorrow night.

The Bavarians had hoped that the duo would return in time for the first leg of the round-of-16 encounter at Allianz Arena.

However, it appears coach Carlo Ancelotti will have to make do without them, with Ribery being restricted to individual training.

The news comes as a blow to the Italian given the veteran winger had been one of Bayern’s form players following the restart of the Bundesliga season after the winter break.

Ribery notched an assist against Freiburg and then Werder Bremen in consecutive 2-1 wins in January, although the German champions were far from convincing victors on both occasions.

The 33-year-old suffered a thigh problem against the latter, however, and had been working — unsuccessfully — to regain fitness against Bayern’s old adversaries Arsenal.

Ribery will join Boateng on the sidelines as the defender continues to struggle with a shoulder injury.

Boateng has not featured for Bayern since the middle of last November, with the Germany international restricted by injury to just seven Bundesliga appearances so far this season.

Nevertheless, the duo — key parts of their club’s treble-winning season in 2012-13 — are expected to be back for the second leg at the Emirates Stadium on 8 March, even if it is unknown whether they will be fit to play from the start.

In better news for Ancelotti, Xabi Alonso was passed fit to take part in the final training session ahead of tomorrow’s tie and is in line to make his 116th appearance in the Champions League.

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