The Bundesliga’s top two sides square off at Signal Iduna Park in a much-anticipated clash Saturday, during which second-place BVB can cut the gap at the top to a single point with a win. Its chances appeared to have been boosted with the news that Ribery would play no part in the contest after the Ballon d’Or hopeful picked up a rib injury on international duty with France.
However, though Klopp acknowledges that a player of Ribery’s caliber will always be missed, he feels that Pep Guardiola has a number of quality options at his disposal that can easily fill the void.
"Well, you have to say that every single team in this world would miss a Franck Ribery, no doubt about that," he said at a press conference. "On the other hand, the replacement might be Mario Gotze, plus [Thomas] Muller and [Arjen] Robben on his side. Then they have [Mario] Mandzukic, Toni Kroos and so on and so forth. The problems Bayern have are bearable.
"Franck Ribery is an outstanding player who is going to be replaced by another outstanding player."Dortmund is missing all four of its first-choice defenders for the visit of the Bavarians and Klopp says the past week has caused him a lot of stress after watching Marcel Schmelzer and Mats Hummels pick up injuries.
“I've picked up this week 80 percent of my gray hairs,” lamented the 46-year-old. “The situation is not great, especially when one is in such a phase with eight games left until Christmas. But we already had a little time to get used to the idea.”
Klopp was reluctant to discuss his plans for restructuring his lineup to compensate for the absences, instead imploring his team to give its all on the pitch in order to challenge Bayern on Saturday.
"I have complex considerations. But I did not intend you to communicate the ideas,” he noted. “We will have to play an exceptional game to put the opponent in out of the way before problems arise."