Bayern fly to Liverpool without Boateng, waiting on Coman, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Bayern fly to Liverpool without Boateng, waiting on Coman

Bayern Munich jetted to Liverpool for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Liverpool without centre-back Jerome Boateng and hoping French winger Kingsley Coman will be fit.

Boateng is out with an upset stomach, leaving Mats Hummels to partner Niklas Suele at Anfield.

Boateng and Franck Ribery were the biggest names missing when the team flew out of Munich.

Ribery, 35, who could replace Coman if he fails to recover from an ankle injury, is expected to travel separately after welcoming the birth of his fifth child on Sunday night.

Bayern's main concern is Coman, who was outstanding in Friday's 3-2 win at Augsburg, equalising twice and then setting up David Alaba for the winning goal, only to limp off late on with an ankle injury.

"It looks quite positive, the ankle is a bit better," said sports director Hasan Salihamidzic yesterday, despite Bayern having passed Coman fit to play two days before.

"We still have 36 hours and things can change, I can't say more."

Coman's injury is of particular concern, after returning only in December from four months out with torn ligaments in the same left ankle.

"It would be annoying not to have him, he brings a different dynamic to our game," admitted Bayern coach Niko Kovac.

Bayern, currently second in the Bundesliga, are happy to hand the favourites' tag to English Premier League title-chasing Liverpool, but are confident.

"Liverpool are having a very strong season," said winger Serge Gnabry. "So it's in order that they are favourites.

"We have our strengths, we're FC Bayern and anything is possible."

Joshua Kimmich echoed Gnabry's sentiments, saying: "Liverpool are the favourites. They've lost one league game all season and have let in only 15 goals.

"When you see their style of playing, they have a really good defence and their offensive line is also amazing.

"They have a lot of speed, they have players who are tough in the duels. It won't be easy to fight against them.

"When you look at us, we are not as consistent as before. We need to improve our style of playing before we can compare to the best teams in Europe."

Bayern have not reached a final since they last won the Champions League in 2013 against Borussia Dortmund, who were then managed by Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp. - AFP, REUTERS