Deputising for Manuel Neuer, goalkeeper Sven Ulreich (pictured) has excelled between the Bayern Munich goal posts. - © gettyimages / Matthias Hangst
Deputising for Manuel Neuer, goalkeeper Sven Ulreich (pictured) has excelled between the Bayern Munich goal posts. - © gettyimages / Matthias Hangst
Bundesliga

Lothar Matthäus on why Sven Ulreich deserves to keep out Manuel Neuer and why Bayern Munich will win the UEFA Champions League

Regardless of whether Manuel Neuer is fit, Lothar Matthaüs says goalkeeper Sven Ulreich should keep his place in the side if Bayern Munich reach the UEFA Champions League final, and believes the Bundesliga champions have what it takes to go on and win the competition.

Ulreich has done a stellar job in the absence of Neuer, playing in nine of Bayern's 10 Champions League outings en route to the semi-finals and keeping 16 clean sheets in 38 appearances in all competitions.

Although Neuer is expected to return to first-team action before the end of April, Matthäus thinks the Bayern and Germany captain's lack of match practice at the highest level - a second metatarsal break has restricted him to four appearances in 2017/18 - tips the balance in Ulreich's favour.

"If I were coach, I'd stick with Sven Ulreich," wrote the 1990 Ballon d'Or winner - a losing Champions League finalist with Bayern in 1987 and 1999 - in his regular Sky column.

"It looks like Manuel Neuer is nearing full fitness and might still get in a few league games, but the risk is too high in the big games. On top of that, Ulreich has earned it with some fantastic performances."

- © imago / Jan Hübner

Holders Real Madrid, Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool and Italian side Roma join Bayern in the semi-finals, the draw for which takes place in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday 13 April (1:00 PM CEST/ 11:00 AM GMT/ 7:00 AM EST).

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