Summary

  • Boateng returned to Bayern starting line-up in 1-1 draw with Gladbach.
  • Suffered groin injury against Hamburg on 18 January.
  • "Will give everything" if selected to face Atletico on Tuesday.

FC Bayern München defender Jerome Boateng is ready to put body and soul on the line in Tuesday's must-win UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Club Atletico de Madrid.

The Germany international watched on from the sidelines as Bayern fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat in the Spanish capital a week ago, but could feature on home soil after making his long-awaited comeback in the 1-1 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach at the weekend.

'The only thing that matters is Tuesday'

"Obviously I was happy to be back on the pitch, even though the result was nothing to write home about," Boateng told the assembled press, fresh from his first competitive outing following a 99-day spell on the sidelines with a groin injury. "We should have made more of our chances on the counter in the first half and scored more goals. We can wrap up the title next Saturday, but the only thing that matters right now is Tuesday."

With a five-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga standings and games against FC Ingolstadt 04 and relegated Hannover 96 to finish the campaign, Bayern are all but guaranteed a record fourth successive title. They also have a DFB Cup final showdown with Borussia Dortmund to look forward to, but their hopes of reaching a third Champions League final in five years hang in the balance. Even a win in Tuesday's return leg might not be enough, should Atleti grab an away goal at the Allianz Arena.

Boateng came out on top in four of his six attempted challenges against Gladbach.

'I'll give it my absolute best'

"We need to put them under pressure from the start," Boateng explained, acutely aware that Bayern simply have to score to stand any chance of keeping their treble hopes alive after Saul Niguez's solitary strike gave Atletico the upper-hand in the tie at the Estadio Vicente Calderon. "We musn't just run about aimlessly in attack, though. We want to play with focus and force the issue. If the coach gives me the nod, I'll give it my absolute best."

To Boateng or not to Boateng? That is now the big question facing Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola. It is no coincidence that Bayern conceded four minutes after the towering Berliner's withdrawal from the heart of the defence against Gladbach, so as long as he shows no adverse reaction to his 68-minute run-out in the Bavarian sun, he can expect to be thrown straight back in at the deep end against Los Colchoneros.