Le­wandowski to miss Celtic clash

Kuwait Times - - Sports -

BER­LIN: Celtic were handed a boost ahead of to­day’s Cham­pi­ons League match at home to Bay­ern Mu­nich as the Ger­mans’ star striker Robert Le­wandowski was ruled out by in­jury. The 29-year-old hot-shot in­jured his left thigh in the first half of Bay­ern’s 2-0 win over RB Leipzig on Satur­day and stayed in Mu­nich when the squad flew to Scot­land yes­ter­day.

Le­wandowski is Bay­ern’s top scorer this sea­son with 13 goals. Sec­ond-placed Bay­ern need a win in Glas­gow to keep the pres­sure on Group B lead­ers Paris Saint­Ger­main, who are three points clear at the top, while Celtic are third.

Head coach Jupp Heynckes had hoped Le­wandowski would be able to play at Park­head but took the de­ci­sion to rest the Poland in­ter­na­tional ahead of Satur­day’s Bun­desliga clash at Borus­sia Dort­mund. “It’s a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure, the coach didn’t want to take any risks. He (Le­wandowski) will be able to play on Satur­day,” said chair­man Karl-Heinz Rum­menigge.

“If we were play­ing against Real Madrid, he might have gone, but Satur­day’s game is in the back of our minds, which is very im­por­tant for us.” Heynckes will have to im­pro­vise in at­tack against the Scot­tish cham­pi­ons, who equalled their own 100year-old Bri­tish record at the week­end by ex­tend­ing their un­beaten do­mes­tic run to 62 matches.

For­wards Thomas Mueller and Franck Ribery are out with ham­string and knee in­juries re­spec­tively. Re­serve striker Kwasi Okyere Wriedt is not reg­is­tered for the Cham­pi­ons League, which means Un­der-19 striker Manuel Wintzheimer has been added to the squad for Glas­gow.

After Le­wandowski limped off be­fore half-time on Satur­day, Heynckes used Thi­ago Al­can­tara, Ar­turo Vi­dal and James Ro­driguez to at­tack in the sec­ond half against Leipzig with lim­ited suc­cess.

The trio failed to add to the score­line after Ro­driguez and Le­wandowski had scored first-half goals. “It’s crazy that we only have one striker,” be­moaned de­fender Jerome Boateng. French winger Kings­ley Co­man has been de­clared fit after an in­jury lay-off, but goal­keeper Manuel Neuer re­mains si­dle­lined long-term with a frac­tured foot. Celtic boss Bren­dan Rodgers has in­jury wor­ries of his own. Right winger Patrick Roberts picked up a knock in Satur­day’s 1-1 draw against Kil­marnock, which rules him out against Bay­ern with James For­rest set to take over.

“It looks like a ham­string so we’ll get a scan on that. I’d sug­gest he’d prob­a­bly be out for a few weeks,” said the Celtic boss. “It’s un­for­tu­nate but the squad’s there to cope.” Striker Leigh Grif­fiths says Celtic will be a dif­fer­ent side to the one which lost 3-0 in Mu­nich a fort­night ago.

“The game will be dif­fer­ent here, es­pe­cially with the crowd get­ting be­hind us,” he said. “In the sec­ond half at Bay­ern we were much more dis­ci­plined to go and play. “We cre­ated good chances to score goals. “If we can repli­cate the last half-hour we played over there then we give our­selves a good shot.

“It is go­ing to be a dif­fi­cult night for us, but as you have seen pre­vi­ously, big teams have been turned over when they came here.”—AFP

GLAS­GOW: Celtic’s head coach Bren­dan Rodgers at­tends a press con­fer­ence at Celtic Park in Glas­gow yes­ter­day, on the eve of the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League Group B foot­ball match. — AFP

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