Bayern Munich receive Benatia boost

The Morocco international returned to training this week and could be set for a return in Saturday’s clash with Hannover

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola received a boost this week as defender Mehdi Benatia returned to the training field.

The Morocco international joined his team-mates for a workout after missing his side’s previous four matches with muscular problems, with Guardiola confirming he had not felt any pain following the session.

The 27-year-old last featured for the reigning German champions in the 8-0 victory over Hamburg but was substituted after an hour and subsequently missed his team’s next four matches.

Bayern travel to Hannover on Saturday hoping to extend their eight-point lead at the top of the table, though the fit-again Benatia is unlikely to play a major role, with Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber set to pair up at the centre of the defence.

Benatia arrived at the Allianz Arena in a €26 million deal from Roma at the start of the season but has found himself singled out for criticism for some of his displays with the Bavarian club.

Last week he hit back at the likes of Franz Beckenbauer, who criticised him following his red card against Manchester City in the Champions League.  

League leaders Bayern have lost just once in the top flight this term, shipping just 10 goals in 23 Bundesliga outings, and are well on course to lift their third consecutive title.