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FCB 'not handing out presents' in Mainz

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FCB 'not handing out presents' in Mainz

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Dec 15, 2006 6:40 pm


Saturday's final Bundesliga fixture before the winter break, when Bayern travel to face bottom club FSV Mainz 05 (<b>Live in English on Web Radio from 3.15 pm CET</b>), feels like the "filling" in a sandwich where the "bread" is provided by the Champions League draw pitting Bayern against old rivals Real Madrid, and next Wednesday's DFB German Cup quarter-final tie away to Aachen. This weekend, the champions are bent on improving their poor record against teams from the lower reaches of the table, and ensuring the gap to leaders Bremen grows no larger than the current three points.

"I'm off to Mainz in an optimistic frame of mind. I don't think the gap to the top will get any bigger," coach Felix Magath remarked. Mainz have garnered just one win from 16 matches and are already certain to spend the mid-season break in the drop zone. Following two less than convincing displays against Gladbach and Cottbus, "the team has an obligation to take all three points on Saturday," Magath continued.

<b>No seasonal gifts</b>

Recalling his side's poor record against strugglers this term, the boss had a warning for his men. "I don't want to play Santa Claus. We'll not be handing out presents." Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge agreed: "We've got to stop throwing away points, like we did against Hanover, Wolfsburg and Gladbach. We'd be ahead of Werder if we'd taken the missing points."

Despite the words of caution, Magath reckoned to detect "a very good spirit in training. I have the feeling the team intends to show its mettle in the last two games." The Cup thriller against Alemannia is the last match of the calendar year, before the players disperse for a well-earned break.

<b>Van Bommel returns</b>

"A draw isn't enough for Mainz, so they'll go for all three points," Magath reasoned, seeing a chance for his men in that very fact. "They have to win their home games, so they'll go for it. That's more how we like it. What's more, they're short of a cutting edge in front of goal." Mainz have scored just eleven league goals all season.

On the selection front, Sebastian Deisler is out until the New Year with a hamstring strain, but Mark van Bommel returns from a one-match ban. "We simply have to play to our ability. If we do, I reckon we'll take the points," the Dutch enforcer analysed, although he too had a warning for his team-mates: "Everyone who plays us is determined to excel."

<b>Desperate times in Mainz</b>

That is certainly the case in Mainz, where coach Jurgen Klopp and his men know just how much a shock victory over the double winners could mean. "What have we got to lose? We're up for it, we want to show what we can do, and prove we're a decent set of players. We're determined to make our own luck," Klopp declared.

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

<b>FSV Mainz 05:</b> Wetklo - Demirtas, Friedrich, Noveski, Rose - Azaouagh, Babatz, D. Vrancic, Feulner - Szabics, Jovanovic

<b>Bayern Munich:</b> Kahn - Sagnol, Van Buyten, Lucio, Lahm - Van Bommel, Ottl, Schweinsteiger, Salihamidzic - Makaay, Pizarro
<b>Also in matchday squad:</b> Rensing, Demichelis, Karimi, Podolski, Lell, Dos Santos, Santa Cruz

<b>Referee:</b> Knut Kircher (Rottenburg)

<b>Bayern's record in the fixture:</b> P2 W1 D1 L0 F6 A4
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