Donal Lenihan believes the trip to face Racing 92 will be a step too far for Munster on Sunday.

Johann van Graan's side go into the fifth round of Heineken Champions Cup pool fixtures with a mounting injury list, particularly at out-half.

Joey Carbery's wrist injury rules him out for at least two months, while JJ Hanrahan is returning to fitness after his own injury recent setbacks.

Speaking to RTE Radio 1's Morning Ireland, former Munster and Ireland lock Lenihan feels the province will be hard pressed to come away with a positive result in Paris, particularly given their injury crisis at outhalf.

"It's really backs to the wall for Munster," he said.

"It's been a very difficult Christmas period. I think what we've seen from Munster, the strength in depth isn't quite as good as they might have thought it was.

"They had to rotate their squad a lot recently and then you've the nightmare scenario surrounding that No 10 jersey.

"Joey Carbery, I really, really feel for him. I think a lot depends on JJ Hanrahan being fit. Huge pressure on Ben Healy, who only led Glenstal to a Munster Schools Cup win less than two years ago.

Ben Healy, left, and John Hodnett of Munster
Ben Healy, left, and John Hodnett of Munster

"He's only started one game at out-half for Munster. So it's a massive call if he has to start in that jersey."

Lenihan believes the "core" of the team know what to expect from an away trip to face Racing but he expects the French Top 14 side to have too much for Munster.

"I'm expecting a backs-to-the-wall performance from Munster," he said.

"They have to fight tooth and nail. Even a losing bonus point might keep them in. But you get this feeling that when they look back at this pool, they'll have the regrets of not taking that late penalty against Saracens.

"They lost a losing bonus point there. They had a drop-goal to win the game against Racing at the start of the tournament when they could have got two more points.

"I think Racing don't fear Munster anymore. Donnacha Ryan has always put pressure on that Munster line-out.

"I think Munster will be competitive but I think it might be a step too far. You'd have to think that Racing have enough quality. Finn Russell has been outstanding at out-half and (Virimi) Vakatawa in the centre.

"They should have enough to get over the line against Munster."