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Bayern star Robben fired up for battle with Manchester United

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben feels “ready” to face Manchester United in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tonight.

Robben missed last week's first leg in Munich and Bayern's league win over Schalke at the weekend with a calf strain but has been taking part in light training.

Having been cleared to travel with the squad to Manchester, the former Chelsea player was hoping to make it through last night’s training session at Old Trafford before taking his place in Louis van Gaal's starting line-up.

Asked if he felt he could play a full part in the match, Robben said: “Yes, I hope so. I'm ready, I'm here and I didn't travel just to be in the stands. We still have one more training session to go. It will be important for me because I haven't trained too much in the last few days.

“But I'm here, I'm ready for the game and if everything is going well and I feel well — of course, in the end it is for the trainer to decide, but I think I can be ready for the game.”

Bayern take a 2-1 lead into the second leg against a United side for whom Wayne Rooney is a major doubt.

The England striker suffered an ankle ligament injury in the closing stages of the first leg at the Allianz Arena and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said there was “no chance” of Rooney featuring in the return game — although he then admitted there was a slim chance the player could be involved as a substitute.

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Bayern coach Van Gaal is well aware of Rooney's importance to United having seen him open the scoring in Munich last week, but the Dutchman insisted he is not overly concerned whether the striker plays or not.

Asked whether he thought Ferguson was trying to “play a game” by giving the impression Rooney would not be fit for the match, Van Gaal said: “I don't think that will happen, but when we played Fiorentina we were faced with a different team than we thought and that does happen in the football business.

“(But) I don't think Ferguson will do that and I'd also like to say that we did win a game with Rooney (playing) — it's not as if we can't win when Wayne Rooney is playing for Manchester United. We don't even need to win — a draw is fine.”

As for his own selection plans, Van Gaal would not be drawn on the likelihood of Robben being named in the team, saying only: “It's always the trainer that makes the decision.”


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