Ribéry return boosts Bayern for rerun of final with revived Inter


Internazionale and Bayern Munich meet in a rematch of last year's Champions League final tonight in the first leg of the round of 16. Inter, the defending champions, will be without Diego Milito, who scored two goals in the final but has a hamstring strain, while for Bayern, Franck Ribéry, who missed the final through suspension, returns from injury.

"Both teams have changed a bit and will be missing important players," Inter midfielder Dejan Stankovic said yesterday. "We heard from [Munich coach Louis] van Gaal yesterday how important the return of [Arjen] Robben and Ribéry has been and how much strength they add. We are more or less the same apart from Diego. It will be a tough match, well balanced and the tactics each side chooses will be important, but we are confident."

Lucio and Wesley Sneijder – another two mainstays of the team that won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho's guidance – should be back after sitting out the 1-0 win over Cagliari as part of their recuperation.

Argentinian centre-back Walter Samuel's absence with a knee injury has been noticeable and Andrea Ranocchia has yet to convince as his replacement since he joined from Genoa in the transfer window.

"We have to play well to give ourselves the advantage ahead of the away leg," Inter defender Ivan Cordoba said. "We can't expect Bayern to give us much room, so we will have to work hard to create space and match their players from the kick-off." Despite the injuries, resurgent Inter have been in good form since Leonardo took over from Rafa Benitez and have moved up to third place in Serie A, five points behind leaders and neighbours Milan, after nine wins in 11 games since the start of 2011.

"We are tired out from all these matches, but going back into the Champions League is something different," Stankovic said. "I'd be happy with a 1-0 win." Munich have concerns over the fitness of top scorer Mario Gomez after the striker injured his ankle in Bayern's 3-1 win at Mainz on Saturday. However, the striker was quick to play down concerns that he would miss the match at San Siro.

"The pain's completely gone away," Gomez said. "It was a bit swollen after the match, but it's OK again now. I don't think it will be a problem for Wednesday." If Gomez is unable to play, he is likely to be replaced by Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who has been left on the bench since Gomez hit form. "We have to wait to see if he can play," Van Gaal said. "Miro has been in very good shape." Klose also scored Germany's goal in the 1-1 draw with Italy on 9 February.

At the other end of the field, Van Gaal has concerns over his first-choice goalkeeper. Thomas Kraft was hit in the head in the Mainz match and came off at half-time. However, Van Gaal expects him to be fit. "He doesn't have a headache any more but still has some neck pain," Van Gaal said. "If Joerg Butt has to play, that's not a problem."

Voices
voices
News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
newsBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
newsHad asteroid hit earlier or later in history, the creatures might have survived, say scientists
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried