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Bayern's midfield marshals front up

Bastian Schweinsteiger has shrugged off FC Bayern München's defensive injury crisis, saying "there's a semi-final at stake" as he prepares to be reunited with fellow midfielder Mark van Bommel.

Bayern's midfield marshals front up
Bayern's midfield marshals front up ©UEFA.com

A host of injuries in defence mean the reunion of FC Bayern München's midfield shields Mark van Bommel and Bastian Schweinsteiger is likely to be all the more important for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Olympique Lyonnais.

The Dutch midfielder, though, who missed the first instalment through suspension, says "the whole team have to defend" if the Bundesliga side are to protect their 1-0 lead.

Doubts persist over the fitness of Martín Demichelis, Daniel Van Buyten and Diego Contento while Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, who could have dropped into the back line, has not travelled to France because of gastroenteritis.

That leaves Holger Badstuber as a probable starter but is sure to place extra strain on both Schweinsteiger and Van Bommel, whose screening of defence has proved an important element of Bayern's season.

"We always have respect for our opponents," said Van Bommel. "We know Lyon didn't play well during the first game, and I'm sure they want a better performance. They play at home but it won't change anything for us before the game. We won 1-0 in the first game, so we have a little advantage. The whole team have to defend."

Despite being held to a 1-1 draw by VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday, Louis van Gaal's side remain top of the Bundesliga on goal difference and with the German Cup final to come and a first UEFA Champions League showpiece since 2001 within touching distance, a treble remains very much on the cards.

For Schweinsteiger, whose assured display in Van Bommel's absence in the first leg epitomised his seamless transition into a more defensive-minded midfielder this season, such carrots are motivation enough to shrug off any potential stumbling blocks – the suspension of the talismanic Franck Ribéry included.

"We really want to win this game and go through to the final. We have a small advantage, but we know it is not finished yet. We played last weekend and have some injured players. It was away but we can't say we are tired; there's a final at stake.

"The most important thing is not to concede goals. Lyon play well at home, but we are confident in our defenders. Bayern are not only Franck Ribéry or Arjen Robben. We are a team and we'll give everything against Lyon."

Though it is Robben who has stolen the headlines in the past two rounds, Schweinsteiger and Van Bommel are sure to have played a pivotal role if Les Gones have been tamed come Tuesday night.