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Bayern eye maximum points in Hanover

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Bayern eye maximum points in Hanover

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:15 pm

Watched approvingly by fitness coach Thomas Wilhelmi, Arjen Robben threw himself wholeheartedly into a workout involving coordination routines, sprints, dribbling and shooting practice on Saturday morning. The 25-year-old Netherlands star was out on the training ground for more than an hour, and looked a happy man when he finally headed for the showers.

However, when Bayern's Bundesliga visit to Hannover 96 gets underway in the early evening on Sunday (Live in English from 5.15 pm CET on FCB.tv Web Radio), the man signed from Real Madrid in the summer will not be part of the action. On the plus side, a target has now been set for his comeback, namely next Friday's home meeting with Borussia Monchengladbach. That in turn could mean an appearance in the do-or-die Champions League trip to Juventus the following Tuesday, when Munich also hope to have Franck Ribéry back in the squad.

"A soon as our two superstars Robben and Ribéry return, I'm convinced we'll see a different team and we'll start making up lost ground," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Friday's Annual General Meeting in Munich. Before the start of play on Matchday 14, Bayern lay seventh in the league table, six points adrift of leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

Robben and Ribéry are not the only absentees for the Hannover clash, as Hamit Altintop (calf) and Miroslav Klose (elbow) are definitely sidelined. On the other hand, Luca Toni returns to the squad after being omitted for the midweek meeting with Maccabi Haifa, although another man dropped out during final training when Christian Lell pulled up injured. "We have a number of injuries, but we can't change that and it can't be used as an excuse either," Van Gaal warned.

Coach banking on Olic'

With four attack-minded players ruled out, Van Gaal is delighted that Ivica Olic has returned to contention with a bang. Against Haifa, the Croat made a first start after a seven-week lay-off and promptly scored the winner. "He achieves a lot simply through his attitude, and it can inspire the other players," said Van Gaal, full of admiration for the born battler's tireless work for the team.

After breathing a collective sigh of relief in beating Haifa, and buoyed by a harmonious AGM, FCB travel to mid-table Hannover in good spirits. "The victory was a good signal, but we have to win all our remaining matches too," urged Van Gaal. "We need nothing more than three points in Hanover on Sunday," said Uli Hoeneß. Jörg Butt expressed confidence in advance of the match: "We have to improve overall and win in Hanover. And I'm convinced we'll do just that."
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