Recovered Pavard could be back in Bayern squad for Lyon clash

Bavarians odds-on for title after 8-2 demolition of Barcelona

 Benjamin Pavard of Bayern Munich  during a training session at Cidade do Futebol in  Oeiras, Portugal on Monday. Photograph: M Donato/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Benjamin Pavard of Bayern Munich during a training session at Cidade do Futebol in Oeiras, Portugal on Monday. Photograph: M Donato/FC Bayern via Getty Images

 

Champions League semi-finals: Bayern Munich v Lyon

Kick-off: 8pm, Wednesday. Venue: Estadio Jose Alvalade, Lisbon. On TV: Live on BT Sport 1 and Virgin Media Sport.

Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard has fully recovered from an ankle injury and could be part of the squad that will face Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday in the Champions League semi-finals, Bayern coach Hansi Flick said on Tuesday.

Pavard, who had an outstanding season as Bayern won the domestic league and Cup double, injured ligaments in his ankle late last month but returned to fitness quicker than expected.

He missed their sensational 8-2 demolition of Barcelona in the quarter-finals last week but has joined the team in Lisbon.

“Benjamin has worked hard in the past days and we are all happy that he is here,” Flick told a news conference.

“We will wait for the final training session tonight and see. He is not an option to start but an option to be in the squad.”

The Bavarians are the odds-on favourites for the title that would emulate their 2013 treble-winning season.

“We have analysed Lyon and we know their qualities,” Flick said. “They have a very good defence, with a lot of players behind the ball, strong runners but also with a lot of quality in attack.

“We want to reach the final and we have to beat Lyon. It will not be easy. With Juventus and Manchester City they have taken out two co-favourites.”

Lyon first eliminated Italian champions Juventus in the last 16 before a shock 3-1 victory over City last week in the quarter-finals held in Lisbon.

“My team is focused. We have set big goals. But it is a game starting at 0-0 and we have to play with the same intensity as against Barça because anything less than 100 per cent will just not be enough,” Flick added.

No complacency

Striker Serge Gnabry insists there will be no complacency from Bayern Munich. The former Arsenal player, who scored one of the eight against Barca, said: “If you look at the match against Barcelona then, yes, it was an exclamation mark – everyone heard about this result.

“But this a different match. It is a semi-final. They’ll be well prepared, it will be no walk in the park. We have to focus and be ready from the first minute.

“We know they’ve beaten Juventus, they’ve beaten Manchester City and both those teams were favourites. It looks like we’re favourites now and we have to be careful.

“Every single player was surprised by the result [against Barcelona], we couldn’t believe it, but we want to achieve more. We want to win.”

Lyon’s victory over City took them into the semi-finals for only the second time in their history after their loss to Bayern at the last-four stage in 2010.

Rudi Garcia’s side are rank outsiders, but striker Maxwel Cornet, who scored the opener against City, is enjoying the ride.

The Ivory Coast international told uefa. com: “We’ve knocked out some really big teams, the likes of Juventus and Manchester City. That shows we’re every bit as good as those teams.

“We mustn’t get carried away, we have to keep our feet on the ground and continue to work hard. The most important thing is to focus on ourselves.

“We’re making the most of the moment. We’re going to give our all out there again and, of course, we’re still hungry.”

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