Zinedine Zidane has played down the potential absence of Robert Lewandowski when Real Madrid visit Bayern Munich on Wednesday night (12 April) after pointing out that the Bundesliga giants have a squad to cope without their top scorer. The France boss has his own injury concerns as the absences of Raphael Varane and Pepe has left him with only two centre-backs available ahead of a crucial month which will included the double leg with Carlo Ancelotti's side and El Clasico against Barcelona on 23 April.
Lewandowski has scored 38 goals in the current campaign and many Real Madrid fans still remember that four goals from the Poland international while playing for Borussia Dortmund knocked out them from the semi-finals of the Champions League in the 2012-2013 campaign.
The 28-year-old was expected to arrive in top form for the coming encounter with Real Madrid after netting a brace during Bayern Munich's 4-1 win over his former side at the weekend. However, the striker was forced off in the second half of that game due to an injury in his shoulder and is a major doubt for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.
Zidane doesn't expect his absence to change Real Madrid's plans anyway after saying that Los Blancos shouldn't fear any rivals if they are at their best.
"We're preparing for the game as if Lewandowski was going to play, although if he doesn't, Bayern have fine players in every position. If he doesn't feature, the player that comes in to replace him will also perform very well," Zidane said in the press conference ahead of the game.
"I don't fear Bayern, I'm more bothered about what we do. We need to go out every three days and show that we're doing a good job of things. Our plan is to play our game, go all out and try and get the win. Our duty is always to give our all."
Real Madrid arrive to the game in great form after they took a giant step towards the La Liga title following Barcelona's 2-0 defeat to Malaga. Furthermore, Zidane has Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema ready to form his attack at the Allianz Arena, but the France boss will need to make at least one change in his usual back-line due to the injuries of Pepe and Varane.
The Real Madrid boss revealed that the two centre-backs will be at least three more weeks on the sidelines – meaning they will also miss the second leg of the Champions League quarter finals and the visit of Barcelona on 23 April.
However, injury-prone Fabio Coentrao and Dani Carvajal have been passed fit to face Bayern even though the latter failed to train with the rest of his teammates on Monday due to a knock.
"The fact that Fabio has been named in the squad means that he's available to play tomorrow," Zidane confirmed. "Varane and Pepe will be out for at least three weeks, but we can't help that. Carvajal is fine, but we'll see how he feels in today's session. It's a muscular problem and it's one we'll be monitoring".
Nacho is expected to cope with the absences of Pepe and Varane on Wednesday night but Zidane suggests that Casemiro may need to play there at some point in the coming weeks if either Nacho or Sergio Ramos suffer a problem.
"I hope that we don't need to put him in at centre-back. I trust in the two out-and-out central defenders that are currently available," Zidane said as Ramos will miss the second leg of the Champions League quarter finals if he is shown a yellow card on Wednesday.
"The messages from Ramos are important right throughout the season, he's a born leader and he shows that in every game. We're all in football to be involved in these kinds of fixtures. I'm in no doubt that if Lewandowski takes to the pitch tomorrow he'll be 100% at it. Sergio has to be smart and positive. We don't anticipate that he'll pick up a booking".