Franck Ribery could make his return to the Bayern Munich squad for their trip to Borussia Monchengladbach.The Frenchman has been out since September with torn ligaments, but he is due to link up with the rest of the squad in Monchengladbach and could take his place on the bench.
The Bayern team flew directly to Dusseldorf from Cluj after their Champions League tie on Wednesday, and coach Louis van Gaal has invited both Holger Badstuber and Ribery to join them in the west.
“We have got to see if there has been any reaction to training, but in normal circumstances, Badstuber and maybe Ribery also will join us,” said the Dutch coach, who has only 15 fit players with him at present.
“I don’t expect anybody else to come.”
Ivica Olic was the latest injury victim of Bayern’s gruelling schedule, which sees them preparing for their seventh game in 22 days.
With Miroslav Klose also sidelined, Mario Gomez has been taking his chance in attack, while Martin Demichelis has been enjoying an opportunity to play in the absence of Badstuber, Breno and Daniel Van Buyten.
Gomez has scored seven goals in his last four games, including two hat-tricks.
“I am very happy at the moment,” said the Germany striker. “I am helping the team with important goals.”
Hosts Gladbach could certainly do with somebody like Gomez in their attack.
Since putting six past Bayer Leverkusen at the end of August, the Foals have scored only seven in their last eight games and have lost six, drawing the other two.
Nevertheless, coach Michael Frontzeck continues to enjoy the backing of his club’s board and he intends to pay them and the fans back with a victory at the Borussia Park Stadion.
“Bayern are favourites to win every game given their immense quality,” he said. “Nevertheless, we will be playing to win.
“I don’t understand the saying that playing Bayern is the easiest game of the season because you have nothing to lose.
“There are three important points at stake even in this game.”
Frontzeck is also without numerous key players with Juan Arango and Thorben Marx both suspended.
Dante and Karim Matmour are both still injured together with Logan Bailly, who has the flu, Tony Jantschke and Jean-Sebastien Jaures.