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Bayern confident ahead of Gladbach task

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Bayern confident ahead of Gladbach task

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:30 pm

Bayern travel to Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday (Live in English from 3.15 pm CET on FCB.tv Web Radio) with realistic hopes of claiming top spot in the Bundesliga for the first time this season. After eight games without defeat and a run of five consecutive league victories, the champions could finally reap the harvest of a grittily consistent autumn streak, although to go top this weekend, FCB must beat their one-time arch rivals of the 1970s, and hope rivals Leverkusen and Hoffenheim drop points.

"We want to keep working our way up the table," Bayern coach Jürgen Klinsmann stated ahead of Friday's final pre-match training session. "We want to win in Gladbach, and then take over as league leaders sometime in the next few weeks." Their rivals' progress elsewhere was "unimportant", Klinsmann insisted. "We have our own job to do first, and that'll be tough enough."testThat fact has not escaped the players' attention. "Gladbach will be more difficult than Schalke," said captain Mark van Bommel. "Bayern are always the opponents you want when you're struggling. You have nothing to lose," explained the Dutch ace, declared fit to play in front of a full house at Borussia Park after shaking off a stomach muscle problem during the week. "It's the occasion Gladbach have been looking for, the moment to produce a great performance."

Six of the league's top seven face each other on Saturday, leaving FCB with arguably the easiest task on paper against the side in 14th, although Miroslav Klose was having none of it. "They've just won 2-0 away to Bielefeld and they'll be looking to follow that up against us, so they'll throw themselves into it," the striker warned, "we'll have to be ready to resist."

Lahm set to start

"We're expecting a very difficult game," Klinsmann repeated. "Gladbach have their backs to the wall, so they'll fight and go to the limit, just like every other team when they face Bayern." For this reason, the coach urged his men, "we need total concentration and plenty of energy. It'll be a battle."

The 44-year-old is barely troubled by selection issues. Apart from long-term absentees Hamit Altintop and Willy Sagnol, and Lukas Podolski, who was unable to train last week with back pain, Klinsmann picks from a full squad. Philipp Lahm has shaken off a foot injury "and he'll play," Klinsmann announced.

Wiser after the event

Bastian Schweinsteiger is also in contention for a start after recovering from a bruised shin. Klinsmann declined to reveal who might drop to the bench, nor was he minded to discuss the tactics which he hopes will guide his team back towards the top of the league.

"The task is to take all three points and remain there or thereabouts at the top," van Bommel commented. "We should be looking at ourselves and make sure we win our matches. We can't influence what the others get up to." The last word belonged to Klose: "We'll all be a lot wiser after the event."
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