Bayern Munich leaves out 4 stars for trip to Dortmund
Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich was travelling without four key players for Saturday's top-of-the-table clash with Borussia Dortmund.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were out with knocks sustained in Wednesday's Champions League semifinal win over Barcelona, Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said on Friday.
French winger Ribery received a blow to his knee and was banned from training for two days, while Dutch winger Robben "has aches and pains everywhere.''
Bayern was 20 points ahead of Dortmund, having claimed a record 84 so far, and Heynckes said he expected Dortmund to field a weakened side, too.
Dortmund beat Real Madrid on aggregate in the other Champions League semifinal for a final against Bayern in London on May 25.
Heynckes said Saturday's game has "no influence on the Champions League final for me'' but that he still expects "a good Bundesliga game.''
"For us (Mario) Gomez and (Claudio) Pizarro will be on the pitch. Are they not top players?'' he asked.
Heynckes was expecting a hostile reception, especially after it was announced that Dortmund star Mario Goetze agreed to join Bayern next season.
"That's a tradition in the league, that Bayern Munich is loved or hated,'' he said.
Goetze is out of Saturday's game with a torn left hamstring and faces a race against time to be fit for May 25.
Heynckes, who turns 68 next Thursday, welcomed the challenge to his side posed by Dortmund.
"I think that it's good there is a rival in the league that's almost at the same level,'' he said.
Bayern has not beaten Dortmund in five league games but is on a record 14-game winning streak.
Bayern sporting director Mattias Sammer got a dig in ahead of the first all-German Champions League final, telling the Antenne Bayern radio station that his former side "could only annoy us over the previous two years because we made mistakes. But we won't make these mistakes anymore in the final and that we'll also win.''