Ribery, Robben and Thiago are irreplaceable at Bayern, claims Matthaus

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The World Cup winner believes the trio are vital to his former club, with top marksman Robert Lewandowski reliant on their creative ability

Lothar Matthaus feels Thiago Alcantara, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are irreplaceable at Bayern Munich and that the club's hopes of winning the Champions League hinge on the fitness of the trio.

Bayern demolished Arsenal 5-1 in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie last week, with Robert Lewandowski shining alongside Thiago and Robben.

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Lewandowksi has 25 goals in all competitions this season but Matthaus believes the players behind the prolific Pole are Bayern's key to success.

"Lewandowski is reliant on his team-mates. He is at his most dangerous when his team-mates get close to the area, find space and set him up," Matthaus told TZ.

"For all the quality he has, he needs his team-mates to shine, Robben, Ribery and Thiago in particular. It all depends on these three. They are the ones who create things, who pull off decisive moves.

"We know how Ancelotti's formation functions by now. In order to be successful, Robben, Ribery and Thiago are irreplaceable. 

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"Ancelotti has a much bigger chance of winning the Champions League when these three players and Lewandowski are all on the pitch at the same time.

"He has found his best starting XI for the big games. I know what Thomas Muller has done for Bayern and what he has achieved, but there is no room for him at Bayern in the big games."

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