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Bayern favour attack against robust Bolton

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Bayern favour attack against robust Bolton

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:33 am

07.11.2007

The Bayern stars were excused training on Monday and took a pause for breath. “It was a good point in time to recharge mentally,” commented Ottmar Hitzfeld, as his team gears up for an unprecedented schedule comprising two gruelling competitive matches in the space of 44 hours, Thursday’s UEFA Cup group meeting with Bolton Wanderers (<b>Live in English from 6.45 pm CET on FCB.tv Web Radio</b>), and Saturday’s Bundesliga trip to champions VfB Stuttgart. “Both games are important,” insisted Hitzfeld, demanding total concentration on Bolton in the first instance. “We’ll need to be at our very best.“

Following a last-gasp 3-2 win away to Red Star Belgrade two weeks ago, the German league leaders can virtually seal a place in the knockout round by beating the side lying second from bottom of the English Premier League. “If we win on Thursday we’ll have six points, and that will see us through,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge calculated, reasoning that victory over the Trotters would hand Bayern third place in the group at the very least.

<b>No carbon copy of Frankfurt</b>

“We’ll go for it as usual and do our best to lay on a good attacking game for the crowd,” Hitzfeld announced, predicting another defensive display from a team visiting the Allianz Arena. “Bolton will pull nine men back,” he continued, although the coach believes the English side will be more adventurous than Frankfurt, who rarely ventured over the halfway line in snatching a point from a goalless draw in Munich last weekend. “Bolton are always prepared to get forward. We’ll have to do a lot more work in defence than we did against Frankfurt.“

Star striker Nicolas Anelka is out injured and El Hadji Diouf is a surprise omission from the travelling party, but Hitzfeld reckons the likes of Kevin Davis, Kevin Nolan and Gary Speed pose a real threat. “We’re up against a dangerous team and we’ll need to be on our guard,” declared Oliver Kahn, warning his team-mates not to read anything into the visitors’ poor start to the domestic campaign. “Bolton only just missed out on qualifying for the Champions League last season. They haven’t suddenly forgotten how to play football.“

<b>Typically English</b>

Wanderers have not won a league game for almost two months and installed a new coach two weeks ago. “They’re below where they should be, and could rise above themselves in the UEFA Cup,” warned Hitzfeld, “I’m expecting them to play a typically English game.“ That would mean a physically robust approach, with plenty of long balls looking to exploit the forwards’ aerial prowess.

“They’re very good up front and on the flanks, and they get forward at lightning speed,” observed Miroslav Klose. Kahn felt that was less of a worry: “We have a world-class defence, probably the best in Europe at the moment. They’ll have to find a way past us first.“

<b>Rotation for Reds</b>

But Bayern have mislaid their shooting boots recently too, and are keen to start scoring again after consecutive goalless draws in the league. “More determination, more long-range shots, more set plays,” Kahn demanded. “We should try and score with our first chance,” Klose offered.

At the pre-match news conference, Hitzfeld declined to reveal the line-up he will send out with the task of maintaining a run of seven UEFA Cup home fixtures without defeat. Bayern are without injury or illness concerns for the first time this season, no bad thing in the light of the Stuttgart trip two days later. One or two team changes appear very likely.

<b>Stuttgart coming up</b>

“I’ve been thinking a lot about it: who do I leave out against Bolton and who do I bring in for Stuttgart? It needs advance planning,” Hitzfeld argued, “I already have the line-up for Stuttgart in the back of my head.” After facing Bolton, the Bayern coaching staff will immediately lay on a string of measures to help the players regenerate, but a win would be the best mental boost. “You always recover more quickly,” Hitzfeld remarked.

<b>Probable line-ups:</b>

<b>Bayern Munich:</b> Kahn - Lell, Lucio, Van Buyten, Jansen - Schweinsteiger, Van Bommel, Ottl, Ribéry - Klose, Podolski
<b>Also in matchday squad:</b> Rensing, Lahm, Demichelis, Zé Roberto, Altintop, Sosa, Kroos, Schlaudraff

<b>Bolton Wanderers:</b> Jaaskelainen - McCann, O'Brien, Michalik, Gardner - Guthrie, Nolan, Giannakopoulos, Samuel, Speed - Davies

<b>Referee:</b> Jaroslav Jara (Czech Republic)
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