Heynckes keen to deploy star duo

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes faces an anxious wait to see if either star wingers Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben are fit for Wednesday evening's (Thursday morning AEST) UEFA Champions League match against Spanish outfit Valencia.

With Bayern eager to erase the painful memories of May's Champions League final defeat at its own Allianz Arena against Chelsea, both Ribery and Robben missed last weekend's 3-1 win over Mainz.

The pair sat out the Bundesliga clash with thigh strains, but took part in training on Sunday while Munich is still missing long-term injury victims Austria defender David Alaba and Germany striker Mario Gomez.

Heynckes has options with new midfield signing Javier Martinez still waiting to make his first start for Bayern since joining from Athletic Bilbao for 40 million euros ($50.04 million) last month.

"It's good that we have such a big and good squad," said Heynckes ahead of the Group F clash with France's Lille and Belarusian team BATE Borisov to come.

"I have lots of options, which I need."

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic scored against Mainz to claim his fifth goal in four games for Bayern since moving from Wolfsburg while Germany pair Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos also netted in the win over Mainz.

"We have improved with each game and we are winning with quality performances," said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Having set up Kroos's goal in the 92nd minute after coming on for the last 15 minutes, Martinez said he is eager to face his countrymen and make his Champions League debut.

"I am feeling more and more at home here, I am happy I managed to set up the third goal and I want to help," said the Spaniard ahead of the clash at the Allianz Arena with an expected sell out crowd of 71,000.

Valencia is mid-table in the Spanish league after beating Celta Vigo 2-1 and coach Mauricio Pellegrino has injury problems of his own with midfielder David Albelda sidelined by a right hamstring tear.

The 35-year-old former Spain international pulled up injured in training last week and is expected to be out for up to four weeks.

As well as missing the game, Albelda will also sit out the home clash with Lille on 2 October.

The news is a further blow to Pellegrino who recently lost attacker Pablo Piatti to a broken arm.

Midfielder Fernando Gago, who signed from Real Madrid, is also under medical observation in Peru after suffering a blow to the head during his country's 1-1 draw with Argentina in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier earlier this month.

Source AFP