Bayern have defensive woes at Anderlecht

Bayern Munich’s players poses during the UEFA Champions League football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich on September 27, 2017 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE

Bayern Munich have woes out wide as they gun for a Champions League victory at Anderlecht on Wednesday with left-backs David Alaba and Rafinha both injured.

Alaba has twisted his back and Rafinha has a knock to an ankle, sidelining them for a game which Bayern need to win to keep up the pressure on Group B leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

The defensive pair are also doubtful for Saturday’s away match when Bundesliga leaders Bayern visit Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes will have to re-arrange his defence after resting Alaba and playing Brazilian international Rafinha at left-back in Saturday’s 3-0 win at home to Augsburg.

Bayern are already missing long-term absentees, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and winger Franck Ribery, while Germany forward Thomas Mueller has only just recovered from a leg injury.

The Germans have already qualified for the last 16 in Europe while Anderlecht have lost all four games so far, but PSG went into their home match against Celtic on Tuesday three points ahead.

Having lost 3-0 to PSG in Paris in September, Bayern have only a slim chance of winning the group.

They are likely to go into the final group match needing to beat the French 4-0 in Munich unless PSG slip up against Celtic.

The Bavarians are on a roll, winning all eight games since 72-year-old Jupp Heynckes replaced Carlo Ancelotti in late September.

“We are on a run and you have to stay in this flow,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

“I do not think the positive tension in the team will drop — Jupp will not allow that.

“Paris has cleaned up everything in the Champions League, and while I make no secret of the fact that we want to win at least on December 5, I’m not optimistic (the chances of) a 4-0 win,” Rummenigge added.

The timetable for the return of Neuer is still unclear as he recovers from a fractured foot.

Rummenigge is unsure whether the Germany goalkeeper will return when the season resumes on January 14 after the winter break, which starts on December 20.

“I don’t know if he will be available again when the league resumes, but it’s along the lines of what the doctors prognosed,” said Rummenigge.

Neuer is expected to soon be off crutches and there is “no cause for pessimism”, added the Bayern chairman.

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