Buoyant Neuer boosts Bayern ahead of Liverpool trip

The World Cup-winning goalkeeper is confident that he will be back to full fitness in time for an eagerly-anticipated Champions League tie.

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MANUEL NEUER HAS confidently predicted that he “will be between the sticks” when Bayern Munich take in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter with Liverpool.

The German giants are due at Anfield on 19 February, and questions have been asked of Neuer’s potential involvement in that fixture, with the World Cup winner having sat out Bayern’s last three games.

A thumb complaint has been keeping him out of action, while the 32-year-old goalkeeper was restricted to only using his feet during a training session on Sunday.

He is, however, expecting to be back to full fitness by the time the visit to Merseyside is made.

Neuer told ESPN FC: “I am fine, it’s not that bad.

“I think our medical [staff] will push me into goal and if everything is fine in training, I will play [against Liverpool].

“We are all positive. I think I will be between the sticks.”

A knock for Neuer has been one of several unwelcome headaches for Bayern in the 2018-19 campaign.

They remain off the pace in the domestic title race, with Borussia Dortmund continuing to lead the way in the Bundesliga.

Niko Kovac’s side have, however, suffered just one defeat in their last 12 games across all competitions – emerging victorious in nine of those matches.

Neuer is feeling upbeat as part of a trophy-chasing squad and says he is looking forward to taking in a first trip to Liverpool of his distinguished career.

He added: “It’s the first game for me at Anfield. I’m looking forward to playing there.

We have heard a lot about the atmosphere in the stadium – everyone who watches football knows it’s special – and I think they will be two great games.

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“For us, the Champions League is very important. It is a knockout tie, two finals. We are happy to play in their stadium.

“Hopefully, it will be great night for us. But it depends on the result, of course.”

After facing Liverpool at Anfield, Bayern will welcome the Reds to the Allianz Arena for a return date on 13 March.

- Omni

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