Lewandowski in fitness race to face Real – Ancelotti


Munich (Germany) (AFP) – Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted star striker Robert Lewandowski is a doubt for the Champions League clash with Real Madrid after he only trained for 20 minutes on Tuesday because of a bruised shoulder.

Lewandowski has scored 38 goals for Bayern this season, including seven in the Champions League, and is crucial to their chances in Wednesday’s quarter-final first leg at the Allianz Arena.

He injured his right shoulder on Saturday when he netted twice in Bayern’s 4-1 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund.

Lewandowski said after that game he was confident of facing Real, but his struggles in training on the eve of the match suggest he faces a battle to be ready.

“He trained today only for 20 minutes, because he had a problem in his last game. He felt good, but we’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” said Ancelotti in a press conference on Tuesday.

“If he has no pain, he will play, if he has pain, he won’t play.”

Ancelotti refused to be pressed when asked what the chances are of Lewandowski facing a Real side led by their superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo. 

“I can’t give a percentage, he trained today and we have to see how he feels,” said the Italian.

“He had a good feeling, but I can’t say whether he will feel better or not (tomorrow).”

If Lewandowski drops out, his place is likely to go to Thomas Mueller, who netted twice in the 6-0 drubbing of Augsburg a fortnight ago but has missed the last two games with an ankle injury.

“If he (Lewandowski) doesn’t play, it won’t affect our preparations and plans,” said Ancelotti.

“We know how important Lewandowski is to us, but we also have other good players.”

Winger Arjen Robben said the team were not nervous about the prospect of losing their star goal-scorer.

“The advantage we have is that we have a big team at our disposal, if he doesn’t play — which isn’t sure yet — we have other players who can step in which is why we are calm about it,” insisted Robben, who spent two years at Madrid before joining Bayern in 2009.

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will be back between the posts after missing the last two games having had minor foot surgery nearly a fortnight ago.

“Neuer is fit, he trained well today and he will start the game,” confirmed Ancelotti.

But Bayern will definitely be without Germany centre-back Mats Hummels, who injured ankle ligaments in training on Sunday and is doubtful for the return leg on April 18.

In Hummels’ absence, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez will partner up at centre-back for Bayern, who are bidding to reach the semi-finals for the sixth year in a row.

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