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Football | Champions League

Ribery determined to play in Valencia



Franck Ribery is determined to play despite bruised ribs and Mario Gomez is in the squad for the first time as Bayern Munich arrived in Spain on Monday for an important Champions League date at Valencia.

Munich have never won a match at the Mestella but cannot really afford a slip-up on Tuesday in a tight group F in which they and Valencia are tied on nine points and BATE Borisov are just three points behind ahead of their date against bottom club Lille.

The French winger Ribery was badly missed in Saturday's 1-1 Bundesliga draw but will be in the line-up in Spain.

"It's not an easy injury, but I have to play. This is a very important match," Ribery said before boarding the planer.

Coach Jupp Heynckes will take no chances and field Ribery, saying "I think he'll manage."

Also in squad, for the first time this season, is Germany striker Mario Gomez in a comeback from ankle surgery in August. Gomez had 12 Champions League goals in the past campaign, and while not set to start, could come on during the game if he is needed.

The game marks a return to his home country of Javier Martinez, who came to Munich in summer for a club record 40 million euros (50.1 million dollars) from Athletic Bilbao.

Munich beat Valencia 2-1 in their first meeting in Germany but Martinez is well aware from past games that the task Tuesday is a difficult one.

"Valencia are a very good, balanced team with a number of excellent individuals ... It's a tough place for every visiting team," Martinez said in an interview with Bayern's website published on Monday.

Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge urged a top effort from his team, but with Borisov unlikely to slip against Lille, the placings will likely be decided in the final round when Borisov come to Munich (after beating them 3-1 in Belarus) and Valencia visit Lille.

"We want to win the group, so we have to take at least a point. We need to approach the game with focus and determination," Rummenigge said.

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