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Franck Ribery is nowhere near the player he once was

30 Mar 2010 08:55:13

Franck Ribery is nowhere near the player he once was

Fallen star: Franck Ribery Franck Ribery will surely be Bayern Munich's main man on Tuesday night. Luckily for Manchester United, the Frenchman is a shadow of the player he was two years ago and can be a liability as much as a threat. Ribery will start on the left but, as you would expect, he will drift inside hoping to get possession and hurt United. However, he has been very hit and miss this season and his unwillingness to track back is something Sir Alex Ferguson will be keen to exploit. He has too often left inexperienced left back Holger Badstuber exposed. Badstuber is the weak link in a Bayern back four with Philipp Lahm (who is playing out of position and struggling at right back), Belgium's Daniel Van Buyten and Argentina's Martin Demichelis, who will be wearing a mask after clashing with Michael Ballack in an international. Louis van Gaal has tried five left backs this season and settled on 21-year-old Badstuber, a centre back by trade. Antonio Valencia should have a field day! Apart from Ribery's tendency to flatter to deceive, Bayern have other problems in the middle with two key men unavailable for the first leg. Arjen Robben's calf injury is a huge blow as he's been in truly sensational form. Thomas Muller, 20, who is looking jaded having played every game this season, replaces him on the right. Ready for action: Ribery with the mask-wearing Martin Demichelis Bastian Schweinsteiger normally sits in front of the back four alongside Mark van Bommel. But he is suspended, meaning Croatia's Danijel Pranjic will most likely play. Schweinsteiger is normally the link man between defence and midfield and will be sorely missed but the good news is that Van Bommel, the captain, is in the form of his life. He will make it his job to starve Wayne Rooney of possession. Up front will be Ivica Olic and Miroslav Klose. Olic's work rate has made him a favourite with the fans, who were unhappy when he was substituted at the break against Stuttgart on Saturday after scoring. Klose plays because Mario Gomez is only fit enough for the bench after a calf injury.  VIDEO SPECIAL: Beware Ribery! This is the danger man facing Man UnitedWayne Rooney won't hurt us! Bayern claim they're not scared of Manchester United striker Ferguson is relishing Bayern showdown in United's week of destinyMartin Samuel: Why Rooney will be doing a job for England in MunichMANCHESTER UNITED FC


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