Bayern coach Ancelotti eager to play Costa & Ribery together

Munich Sep 12 (IANS) New Bayern Munich head coach Carlo Ancelotti feels the quality of Douglas Costa and Franck Ribery means they can play together in the Bavarian football giants’ XI.

Brazil winger Costa is back in contention having made his comeback from a thigh injury off the bench in Saturday’s 2-0 Bundesliga victory at Schalke.

Costa is set to play a part in Bayern’s Champions League group stage opener against Russian club FC Rostov on Tuesday and that could pose a problem with the 25-year-old occupying a similar role to club stalwart Ribery, who endured an injury-hit 2015-16 season.

However, Ancelotti believes the best talent can always find a way to play together and refused to rule out the possibility that Costa and Ribery will feature in the same XI.

“My opinion is good players have to play and good players can play together,” he told a pre-match news conference.

“This also applies to Ribery and Costa. While they cannot play full-back, they can play on both wings in offensive play. So this is not a problem.”

Ancelotti is expecting a tough test against Russian side Rostov, warning Bayern will have to be on song to break through a resolute defence at the Allianz Arena.

“They are defensively very well organised. They beat Ajax with ease,” he said.

“We have to play quickly and directly in front of them. They have a good team ethic and they have players who help each other.

“Especially defensively I expect them to be very strong.”

Bayern forward Thomas Muller is expecting an “intense” clash against Russian football club FC Rostov here on Tuesday.

The five-time European champions’ last Champions League win came in the 2012-13 season. Since then the Bavarian giants have not reached the final of Europe’s premier club football competition, falling in the semi-finals consecutively in the last three seasons.

And Muller is hoping that this season augurs well for them as in the Bundesliga they have started off strongly, thrashing Werder Bremen and Schalke 2-0 so far.

“We are looking forward to the season in the premier class with a home match to begin. FC Rostov will certainly be an unpleasant opponent tomorrow, so we expect an intense game,” Mueller wrote on Facebook.

“But we are hungry enough to win every game,” the 26-year-old German added.

Bayern have won all of their last 12 Champions League opening matches, a record in the competition. The last time Bayern failed to win their first group match was 14 years ago, when they lost 2-3 at home against Deportivo La Coruna.

–IANS

dm-pur/bg

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