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All present and correct for Hertha showdown

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All present and correct for Hertha showdown

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:50 pm

12.10.2006

Daniel van Buyten was a shade behind schedule when he reported to the Säbener Strasse for training at twenty past four on Thursday afternoon, but the Belgian's arrival meant the first team squad was short of just one fit professional: Ali Karimi will be the club's final international to return from his midweek exertions when the Iran star flies back to Munich on Friday following a fixture in Taiwan.

With just 48 hours remaining until the top-of-the-table showdown against Hertha BSC Berlin, Bayern stepped up the pace of preparations on Thursday afternoon. Just two players – long-term injury casualties Valerien Ismael and Owen Hargreaves, both recovering from leg fractures - are out of contention as Felix Magath considers his options for Saturday's clash.

<b>In search of renewed impetus</b>

The Reds coach declined to reveal his line-up thoughts in advance of the home meeting with the current Bundesliga leaders, refusing to confirm a start for Lukas Podolski despite the youngster's gala two-goal display for Germany in Bratislava against Slovakia on Wednesday evening.

Magath is convinced his men will finally start firing on all cylinders in domestic competition from now on. "We've yet to benefit from a settled formation, as we've hardly had the opportunity for that up to now. I'm hoping we'll get into the groove from now on, and play more successfully than we have done so far."

<b>Injury concern for visitors</b>

For their part, the visitors from the German capital are determined to defend top spot in front of another sell-out crowd at the Allianz Arena, although Hertha supremo Falko Götz is definitely without creative inspiration Yildiray Bastürk (ligaments) and Brazilian World Cup star Gilberto (ankle).

Question-marks remain over Christian Gimenez (fitness) and keeper Christian Fiedler (back). The first-choice shot-stopper resumed training on Thursday, with striker Gimenez restricted to a light solo workout. "I'm still assuming they'll both be available for Munich," Götz commented.
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