Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich head to Russia for Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Rostov without goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and with a trio of other stars also out injured.
Germany’s captain is suffering from a calf problem picked up in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund and missed training on Monday, the German champions said.
In Neuer’s absence Sven Ulreich will deputise in Russia.
Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti is also set to again be without Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal, who returned from international duty last week with a leg injury.
Spain’s Javi Martinez and Dutch winger Arjen Robben are also set to miss the match with thigh injuries, while there are murmurs of friction within the star-studded Bayern squad.
Bayern secured their last-16 place in the Champions League for the ninth consecutive season with a 2-1 win at PSV Eindhoven three weeks ago.
But they need a win at Rostov, northeast of Moscow, to stay in touch with Group D leaders Atletico Madrid, who they host at Allianz Arena on December 6.
Second-placed Bayern lag three points behind Atletico and are struggling for goals.
The Dortmund defeat allowed RB Leipzig to finish the weekend top of the league — the first time since September 2015 that Bayern have not been top in Germany.
Bayern failed to convert any of their 18 shots on goal and forward Thomas Mueller is still waiting for his first league goal of the season.
“Obviously you can’t be happy when you lose top spot and drop points,” said captain Philipp Lahm.
“Now it’s back to the Champions League and after that we face Leverkusen (at home on Saturday). There are interesting weeks ahead.”
When Xabi Alonso hit the crossbar with an hour gone and his side 1-0 down in Dortmund, it was the 10th time Munich have hit the woodwork in the league this season.
Their strike rate is better in the Champions League, where Robert Lewandowski has four goals in as many games, while Mueller has netted twice in Europe.
Bayern routed Rostov 5-0 in mid-September but they have taken flak in the German media for the Dortmund defeat.
Ex-Germany captain Lothar Matthaeus says Bayern are missing the “fitness, joy and authority” in their play.
And there was a hint of discord when Neuer criticised his team-mates after only he, Mueller, Mats Hummels and David Alaba went to applaud the 8,000 Bayern fans who travelled 600 km to Dortmund to support their team.