Bayern Munich have suffered an injury blow ahead of their top-of-the-table clash with Borussia Dortmund this weekend after French star Franck Ribery returned from international duty with a fractured rib.
The Ballon d'Or candidate was inspirational in helping his country overcome a two-goal first-leg deficit against Ukraine on Tuesday night, setting up two of France's three goals as they became the first side ever to qualify for the World Cup after being two goals behind after the first leg.
But he will not be at Pep Guardiola's disposal for this Saturday's clash with title rivals Dortmund.
The treble-winning Bundesliga outfit could extend their lead over Jurgen Klopp's side to seven points with a win and Ribery thinks his team will win without him.
"Of course it's a bitter blow because I would have loved to have been part of the top game in Dortmund, but I'm sure the team will win even without me this time," he told the club's website in an interview quoted by Sky Sports.
The 30-year-old is also said to be a major doubt for their European fixture against CSKA Moscow, although this matters little given the fact that the reigning champions have already qualified for the knockout stage.
The German giants are on an incredible run in the league, not tasting defeat at all in their last 37 outings. That record will be put to the test when the two sides meet at Signal Iduna Park this Saturday, although the league leaders can take confidence from their victorious Champions League final meeting at Wembley in May.
However, Klopp's side will also be confident of ending their rivals incredible streak, having beaten them 4-2 in the German Super Cup final earlier this season.
Dortmund, though, have injury concerns of their own. They will be without the entire back four that started the corresponding fixture last term; with Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer picking up knocks against England on Tuesday. They join Neven Subotic and Lukasz Piszczek on the sidelines.
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