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Bayern wary of first-day visitors Hansa

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Bayern wary of first-day visitors Hansa

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:20 pm

10.08.2007

After a six-week pre-season period featuring countless training sessions, victory in the DFL League Cup and a total of eleven warm-up matches, the very serious business for Bayern begins on Saturday with a home Bundesliga fixture against Hansa Rostock, the opening match of a campaign which the Reds intend to conclude with a 21st domestic league triumph.

“We’re well prepared. You sense the urge to get started. Expectations are running unbelievably high,” coach Ottmar Hitzfeld informed Thursday’s pre-match news conference. After investing a reported €70m in eight new players, Munich approach their 43rd Bundesliga campaign as runaway favourites for the title, a role the Bavarians are only too happy to accept.

<b>Rummenigge predicts bright future</b>

“After winning the League Cup, where we beat the three teams which finished ahead of us last season, we know our new team has a bright future,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is quoted as saying in the <i>Bayern-Magazin</i> matchday programme. However, the chairman had a few words of warning for Hitzfeld and his players. “We can take absolutely nothing for granted, because we can be sure our rivals will push us all the way right from the off.”

Last Monday’s heart-stopping penalty shoot-out victory over third division Wacker Burghausen in the Cup proved a valuable case in point. “Burghausen came at exactly the right time,” Oliver Kahn argued. “We’ve been warned. We face an extremely tough job. Every team will want to give their best performance of the season against us,” coach Hitzfeld advised.

<b>Hansa not in town for the sights</b>

Saturday’s visitors do not appear inclined to freeze in terror before the might of Munich. “It’ll be a very special day for Ribéry, because it’s a chance for him to share the pitch with me,“ giggled Hansa skipper Stefan Beinlich. “We’re not going to Munich just to take pictures of the stadium,” Rostock boss Frank Pagelsdorf thundered. In their first top flight fixture after 825 days in the second division, the promoted club would love to pull off a shock result. “We won’t be abandoning our interpretation of modern football just for this match,“ Pagelsdorf promised.

However, the vast majority in the 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena will be urging the home side to lay down an early-season marker. “We want to prove we belong right at the top again from the very beginning, and we want to make a start against Rostock,” declared Germany international Philipp Lahm. Kahn is hoping for a clear-cut victory. “Perhaps we’ll see a festival with four or five goals,” the giant keeper mused.

<b>Toni set to feature?</b>

Hitzfeld would be perfectly happy with victory by the only goal of the game, “although if it was more, it would be even nicer for us and the crowd. We won’t be arrogant, but we will be well-prepared.“ The General has a tape of Rostock’s pre-season performances at his disposal, ready for the team talk at the club’s pre-match retreat.

Hansa have no injury concerns to report, but Bayern are definitely without long-term casualties Valérien Ismael, Lukas Podolski, Jan Schlaudraff, Willy Sagnol and Mats Hummels. Luca Toni is training again following a knee problem, but his inclusion in the matchday squad is subject to a late fitness test.

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

<b>Bayern Munich:</b> Kahn - Lahm, Lucio, Demichelis, Jansen – Van Bommel, Zé Roberto – Altintop, Schweinsteiger, Ribery – Klose
<b>Also in matchday squad:</b> Rensing, Lell, Van Buyten, Sosa, Wagner, Ottl (Toni)

<b>Hansa Rostock:</b> Wächter - Lense, Sebastian, Orestes, Pearce - Stein, Beinlich, Rahn - Yelen - Kern, Cetkovic

<b>Referee:</b> Markus Schmidt (Stuttgart)

<b>Bayern’s record in the fixture:</b> P11 W7 D1 L3 F25 A13
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