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Bayern star Davies set to return after Covid-related heart problem

Berlin (AFP) – Canada international Alphonso Davies is set to make his return for Bayern Munich in their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Villarreal on Wednesday after a Covid-related heart problem.

The 21-year-old last played in December having been diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart, after he tested positive for coronavirus in January.

“‘Phonzie’ (Davies) will be back, the medical examinations have been so positive that he could play from the start,” Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said Tuesday.

If he plays, Davies will return ahead of schedule.

Nagelsmann had originally earmarked the versatile wing-back for a return in the second leg against Villarreal in Munich on April 12.

Davies, 21, already had a good start to the week after being voted the CONCACAF player of the year.

Bayern are definitely without midfielder Corentin Tolisso who tore a leg muscle after coming on in Saturday’s 4-1 win at Freiburg in the Bundesliga.

The winner of the two-legged Champions League quarter-final will play Benfica or Liverpool in the last four.

However, Bayern are wary of Villarreal, who knocked out Juventus in the last 16.

Gerard Moreno, Pau Torres and Arnaut Danjuma scored for Villarreal in a 3-0 away win in the second leg to stun the Italians following a 1-1 draw in Spain.

“They were very well organised in defence and aggressive in the challenges,” said Bayern defender Lucas Hernandez.

“Their midfield is solid and so is their attack.

“We won’t underestimate them, but we do want to win both legs.”

Villarreal are seventh in the Spanish league, while Bayern are nine points clear at the top in Germany and on course for a 10th straight Bundesliga title.

Nagelsmann said he is cautious of Villarreal’s former Arsenal boss Unai Emery, describing him as “a coach with a lot of experience at winning on the international stage”.

“(His) team are very experienced and we will need to figure out how to break them down,” Nagelsmann added.

Emery insists that Bayern start as favourites but says the Spanish team’s passionate home fans have a role to play.

“We want to experience a special and unique moment at the Estadio de la Ceramica,” Emery said Tuesday. 

“Opportunities are there to be played for and we need to make the most of them.

“We respect Bayern a lot and we will look to make the most of our strengths.

“We will play the 90 minutes at home with the aim of staying alive in the tie,” he added, with the return leg in Germany next Tuesday.

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