COVID-19: Bayern's Gnabry and Roca out of Paris St Germain clash
FOOTBALL By Reuters | April 7th 2021
Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry has been ruled out of Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Paris St Germain after testing positive for COVID-19 while midfielder Marc Roca will miss the game due to injury.
The Bavarians are brimming with confidence, even without injured top striker Robert Lewandowski, having beaten second-placed RB Leipzig 1-0 on Saturday to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table.
Bayern have also won their last seven games in all competitions and scored 23 goals.
Manager Hansi Flick, who has led the Bavarians to six trophies in the last 10 months including the Champions League, said Spaniard Roca suffered an injury on Sunday and was out.
Flick had said Gnabry was unlikely to be included due to a sore throat, but the club later revealed the 25-year-old German had tested positive and was quarantining at home.
The two sides met in last year's Champions League final with Bayern winning the trophy but that counts for little now, said Flick.
"Paris are a new team with a new coach," he said. "I don't think that game matters anymore. We want to reach the semi-finals and the final. That is our aim."
"They have a solid defence, a very good goalkeeper, but up front they have enormous quality."
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Flick said Bayern would have to press the French quickly when they attacked and beware of the speed of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe if they lose possession.
"There is this enormous quality they have, and if we lose possession then we have to stop them quickly. We also have to put them under pressure early."
Even though PSG are missing half a dozen players, including Alessandro Florenzi and fellow Italy international Marco Verratti through coronavirus infections, Bayern will need to be sharper in attack than against Leipzig.
"We have to be confident in our attack, a bit more decisive than Leipzig and also be strong from the start."
"We will get our chances but we have to play them out better than against Leipzig," he said.
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