Toni & Gomez battle for Bayern berth

BERLIN - Italian striker Luca Toni looks to have beaten Mario Gomez in their battle for a Bayern Munich starting spot for Tuesday's Champions League match against Girondins Bordeaux.

Toni, who scored midweek against Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup and carved out several chances in Saturday's goalless draw with VfB Stuttgart straight after coming on, may have done enough to confine 30-million-euro striker Gomez to the bench.

Gomez, the Bundesliga's most expensive signing, was picked to start against his former club Stuttgart but coach Louis van Gaal hinted Toni, who missed much of the early season with a heel injury, would be his choice against Bordeaux.

"The reason Gomez (started) was that he is from here and he knows the grass, he knows the pitch," Van Gaal said. "But Toni had played four matches in a row and I have to think about Bordeaux."

With only four points from three matches, the Bavarians have so far failed to meet expectations, lying in third place in Group A, a point behind Juventus and three off leaders Bordeaux.

With injured playmaker Franck Ribery out for several weeks and in-form Thomas Mueller suspended, Van Gaal will have to rely on the speed of midfielder Arjen Robben, just back from a knee injury, to set the pace in Munich on Tuesday.

Bayern will also be missing defender Daniel van Buyten who, like Mueller, was red-carded in their 2-1 defeat in Bordeaux last month, with Argentine Martin Demichelis the most likely replacement.

Ligue 1 leaders Bordeaux geared up for the game with a clinical 1-0 win against Monaco on Saturday.

They once again proved dangerous on set pieces, with defender Marc Planus poking the ball home after Stephane Ruffier had parried a Marouane Chamakh header from a Wendel free kick.

"It was a good game to prepare for the Bayern game," said midfielder and captain Alou Diarra. "We can approach this Champions League match serenely. We will travel there to take at least a point. We expect a tough game."

Bordeaux's mission will not be an easy one, warned Diarra.

"Bayern have their back to the wall ... but we will go there aiming to spring a surprise."

Bordeaux will be almost at full strength, with only Brazilian centre back Henrique set to miss the game with a knee injury.

Probable teams:

Bayern Munich: 22-Hans-Joerg Butt; 4-Edson Braafheid, 6-Martin Demichelis, 28-Holger Badstuber, 21-Philipp Lahm; 23-Danijel Pranjic, 17-Mark van Bommel, 10-Arjen Robben, 31-Bastian Schweinsteiger; 9-Luca Toni, 18-Miroslav Klose

Bordeaux: 1-Cedric Carasso; 21-Mathieu Chalme; 27-Marc Planus, 2-Michael Ciani; 28-Benoit Tremoulinas; 4-Alou Diarra, 5-Fernando, 7-Yoan Gouffran, 8-Yoann Gourcuff, 17-Wendel; 29-Marouane Chamakh