In-form Bayern eye final 16 with a win over Plzen

Mon Nov 4, 2013 7:49am EST
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By Michael Kahn

PRAGUE (Reuters) - An in-form Bayern Munich will be looking to notch up their fourth straight win in the Champions League group stage and seal a spot in the final 16 when the Bundesliga champions face Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday.

Title holders Bayern will, though, have to manage without Dutch winger Arjen Robben who stayed behind on Monday, nursing a groin injury.

The German side, who have ridden Franck Ribery's hot start to the season, have scored 11 goals and conceded only one in their three Group D games to stay three points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table.

Coach Pep Guardiola had Spain international Javi Martinez and German midfielder Mario Goetze back in the starting lineup for the first time in months after the pair's long injury breaks when they equaled a 30-year-old Bundesliga record with their 36th game without defeat since October 2012.

Bayern were by no means dominant in their 2-1 win against Hoffenheim on Saturday but they controlled the pace and have yet to lose a game this season in any of the three competitions they are in.

Central defender Dante was also back after a two-week injury break.

"It certainly was not one of our best performances," Guardiola said. "Not everything worked well and we need to correct that."

Goetze, who joined Bayern in a 37-million-euro transfer from Borussia Dortmund, said his team had to work harder.   Continued...