Boost for Bayern Munich as Neuer expects to return against Real Madrid

Germany’s No.1 missed the win over Kaiserslautern with the calf injury he picked up against Borussia Dortmund but he is confident of being available for the trip to the Bernabeu

Bayern Munich have been boosted by the news that goalkeeper Manuel Neuer expects to be fit for Wednesday’s Champions League showdown with Real Madrid.

The Germany international was forced off at half-time in last weekend’s Bundesliga defeat to Borussia Dortmund because of a calf problem.

However, while Neuer was left out of the squad for Wednesday night’s DFB-Pokal win over Kaiserslautern, the 28-year-old shot-stopper is confident of being available for the first leg of Bayern’s Champions League semi-final tie against Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“I feel very good,” he told his club’s official website. “I’m assuming that I can play on Wednesday.”

After taking over in goal for the 5-1 rout of Kaiserslautern, the 20-year-old Lukas Raeder is once again expected to deputise for Neuer in Saturday’s Bundesliga meeting with Eintracht Braunschweig.

Tottenham would have challenged for the title with Bale – Sherwood

The manager believes the north Londoners would have been involved in the top-of-the-table battle had the Welshman rejected the advances of Real Madrid

Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood believes Spurs would be challenging for the Premier League title if they still had Gareth Bale at the club.

The Welshman left for Real Madrid in a world-record £86 million deal last summer, after scoring 21 Premier League goals to lead Tottenham’s ultimately doomed charge on the top four in 2012/13.

And he gave Spurs fans a timely reminder of what they are missing with a stunning winner in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona on Wednesday, with Sherwood declaring that his side would be involved in the top-of-the-table battle between Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City had Bale chosen to remain in north London.

“That is business as usual for Gareth Bale,” said Sherwood, discussing the Welshman’s winner in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night.

“We saw what he did last year: 21 goals and nine assists. He scored the winner in eight games.

“We could do with that now, by the way. If you put those points that he accumulated for us on top of what we have got we would probably be challenging for the title.

“The two best players on the pitch last night (in the Copa del Rey final) were Gareth Bale and Luka Modric and that says everything.”

More to follow…

BREAKING NEWS: Tottenham would have challenged for the title with Bale – Sherwood

The manager believes the north Londoners would have been involved in the top-of-the-table battle had the Welshman rejected the advances of Real Madrid

Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood believes Spurs would be challenging for the Premier League title if they still had Gareth Bale at the club.

The Welshman left for Real Madrid in a world-record £86 million deal last summer, after scoring 21 Premier League goals to lead Tottenham’s ultimately doomed charge on the top four in 2012/13.

And he gave Spurs fans a timely reminder of what they are missing with a stunning winner in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona on Wednesday, with Sherwood declaring that his side would be involved in the top-of-the-table battle between Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City had Bale chosen to remain in north London.

“That is business as usual for Gareth Bale,” said Sherwood, discussing the Welshman’s winner in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night.

“We saw what he did last year: 21 goals and nine assists. He scored the winner in eight games.

“We could do with that now, by the way. If you put those points that he accumulated for us on top of what we have got we would probably be challenging for the title.

“The two best players on the pitch last night (in the Copa del Rey final) were Gareth Bale and Luka Modric and that says everything.”

More to follow…

Madrid vote Pinto Man-of-the-match

Spain’s national television station was forced to abandon their social media survey after Barcelona’s much maligned goalkeeper Jose Pinto surged to the top of the poll

An audacious plot to crown Jose Pinto as Man-of-the-match in the Copa del Rey final was foiled after television executives pulled the plug on voting.

Spain’s national television station TVE suspended its social media survey for the award after Pinto raced ahead with 75 per cent of the tally.

Using the hashtag #MVPCopa, Madrid fans took to Twitter in their droves to nominate the Barca goalkeeper, who was arguably at fault for Angel Di Maria’s opening goal and looked nervous for much of the evening.

In order to save face, the station decided instead to disregard all the tweets in favour of the 38-year-old and instead picked Gareth Bale, who took the award with 20 per cent of the remaining votes.

Ronaldo targets Madrid return versus Bayern

The Portugal international is happy with his recovery from injury and aims to return to the pitch against the Bundesliga champions in the Champions League semi-final

Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo is hopeful of making his comeback from injury in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

The Portugal international has not featured for Carlo Ancelotti’s men since the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final with Borussia Dortmund on April 2, originally missing out with a knee injury before picking up a hamstring problem.

The 29-year-old was disappointed not to be involved in Madrid’s Copa del Rey final win over Barcelona on Wednesday, but hopes to face reigning European champions Bayern at Santiago Bernabeu next week.

“I’m really happy. I wanted to play and help the team but my team-mates did a great job. I’m getting better, now I don’t feel any pain,” Ronaldo told the club’s official website.

“I might be back in time for next Wednesday or perhaps the second leg of our Champions League tie.

“Bit by bit I’m feeling better and what I want more than anything is to be able to help the team out as soon as possible.”

Ronaldo has been in sublime form for Madrid this term, netting 45 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions.