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It'll be tough without 'Schweini', admits Bayern's Gomez

It'll be tough without 'Schweini', admits Bayern's Gomez

Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez is now Germany's highest goalscorer in Champions League history, but the hot-shot admits he will miss injured Bastian Schweinsteiger's silky passes.

Bayern are four points clear at the top of the German league and on Sunday in the Bundesliga take on Bavarian neighbours Augsburg, who are second from bottom, but Munich will be without playmaker Schweinsteiger.

The Germany star underwent surgery in the early hours of Thursday to insert a plate in his shoulder after breaking his collarbone in Bayern's 3-2 win over Napoli on Wednesday in the Champions League.

Schweinsteiger's absence in Augsburg is bound to have an impact on the team, especially for Gomez, who scored a superb header against Nuremberg last weekend from a pin-point passs from the Bayern vice-captain.

"We were shocked by the loss of Schweinsteiger," admitted Gomez.

"He?s our engine in midfield, he increases the pace or calms things down. We were all looking for something to cling onto after that.

"It?ll hit us hard, but we?re a top team and we have to compensate for losing him, even if it?ll be difficult.

"He organises our game, he sets the pace and tempo, but we have many players with leadership qualities."

Gomez scored a first-half hat-trick against the Italians and the three points put Munich clear at the top of Group A with one foot in the knockout stage.

It was the first hat-trick by a German player in Champions League history and was Gomez's 17th goal at Europe's premier level, taking him past Michael Ballack as Germany's top scorer in the competiton.

His five this season in the Champions League put him level with Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in the goalscoring stakes.

Bayern chief executive officer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the former Germany striker who knows a thing or two about finishing, described Gomez's first-half performance against Napoli as "flawless".

"Certainly I am pleased with every goal and I'm proud of each one -- especially since the ones against Napoli were so important," said the 25-year-old Gomez.

"But what matters at the end is the titles the team wins, not any personal records. Hitting milestones for goals is not important to me. That's for the fans."

Having netted 28 German league goals last season in 32 matches and scoring 39 times in the 45 matches he played for his club in all competitions, Gomez is enjoying the same level of success this season with 19 goals in 17 games.

He needed just 25 minutes to score the three goals against Napoli and is finishing most chances that come his way, having scored 12 goals in just 10 Bundesliga games this season.

Part of his success comes down to the world-class service he has received from Bayern's midfield, including master craftsmen Franck Ribery of France and German pair Schweinsteiger and rising star Toni Kroos.

But having almost allowed Napoli to fight back on Wednesday, Gomez says Bayern must be far more ruthless at Augsburg, with or without Schweinsteiger.

"We must tackle this game with 100 percent -- and not with 90, 95 or 98," he said.

AFP

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