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Lewandowski and Neuer to miss Bayern Munich’s trip to Atletico Madrid



Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer will miss Bayern Munich’s Champions League visit to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, head coach Hansi Flick confirmed.

Poland international Lewandowski, who has scored 15 goals across all competitions this season, has sustained an unspecified injury, while it appears 34-year-old Neuer has been rested with Bayern’s progression to the last 16 as group winners already secured.

Flick also confirmed the injured Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso will remain in Germany alongside long-term absentees Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich.

Holders Bayern sealed their place in the knockout stages with a 3-1 win over Salzburg last week, securing a fourth victory from four Group A games.

Atletico, however, have a fight on their hands to join the Bundesliga side, with Diego Simeone’s men picking up just five points from the same number of games to sit two ahead of third-place Lokomotiv Moscow.

They boast a strong record at home, though, with a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in September 2017 their only reverse in their last 24 matches in the Spanish capital.

Flick knows his side have their work cut out if they are to equal their longest run of consecutive away wins in the competition of seven.

“It will be a challenge for all of us,” he said. “The team is second in LaLiga and they have the best defence and the second best offence.

“The coach has been working for this team for years and is always taking it to a new level. It is a pleasure for us to play against Atletico in Madrid.

“The team that copes best with the conditions will be successful. We take it seriously when a player is not 100 per cent fit. The squad for Madrid is selected so that every player is 100 per cent fit.

“There will be important games in the next two and a half weeks so we have to stay on the ball.”

With Neuer not travelling, Flick reavealed 24-year-old Alexander Nubel will start in goal.

Nubel joined the club on a free transfer from Schalke ahead of the 2020-21 season and has featured in just one game so far this term, keeping a clean sheet in Bayern’s 3-0 DFB-pokal win over Duren Merzenich.

The highly rated Nubel, who kept five clean sheets in the Bundesliga last season for Schalke, is tipped to eventually take over from Neuer and could be set for a busy game given Bayern have faced 10 or more shots on target in each of their last two Champions League games.

Flick, though, expects him to show his potential.

“It will be that Alexander plays,” he said. “He shows his quality in training and now he can show his quality in the Champions League.”

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