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High-energy Bayern gear up for Cottbus

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High-energy Bayern gear up for Cottbus

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:00 pm


Mark van Bommel is missing with suspension, but Bayern are determined to round off their home campaign for the year with a convincing victory at the Allianz Arena this weekend. "We've already dropped enough points in the first half of the season. We must beat Cottbus," coach Felix Magath demanded ahead of the meeting with promoted strugglers Energie on Saturday (<b>Live in English on Web Radio from 3:15 pm CET</b>).

The Bundesliga champions have forfeited a worrying 11 points against teams who were languishing in the standings at the time of the matches in question. Saturday's visitors currently lie 13th, but the Reds are determined to avoid yet another slip-up. "It may be we miss out on the unofficial title of autumn champions, but that changes nothing. Our goal is to defend our Bundesliga title," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge thundered.

<b>More difficult than Inter?</b>

The victory demanded by the management floor will have to be achieved without Mark van Bommel, who misses a league fixture for the first time since joining the club. "It will be more difficult than against Inter Milan," the midfielder warned. Coach Magath was "undecided" on Friday as to the replacement for the 29-year-old enforcer.

The Bayern boss called on his men "to dig deep and summon up our last reserves of energy" in the three remaining matches before the winter break. "If we beat Cottbus and then win in Mainz next week, the situation in the table will count as satisfactory." The Reds currently lie fourth, three points off leaders Werder Bremen.

<b>Energie in positive mood</b>

The Munich dressing room is full of physically tired players, although a patchy first half of the season has also taken a mental toll. "We have to concentrate right up to the last second. It's essential we concentrate for the full 90 minutes. If we do, we'll beat Cottbus," Magath predicted.

The visitors, without a win in six, reported an upbeat mood ahead of the run-out at the Allianz Arena. "This fixture gets the adrenalin flowing," Energie boss Petrik Sander enthused. "It's a fantastic experience for us all."

<b>Cottbus to set out their stall</b>

Sander refused to view his men simply as whipping boys. "We're not going to Munich as sacrificial victims. Nobody gives us a chance, but that could be exactly what we need." The coach revealed a glimpse of his tactical thinking: "In recent games, we've seen Bayern struggle against teams who defend in depth."

"Cottbus are not easy opponents. They defend well and strike quickly on the break," Magath reflected. "It looks an easy task on paper, but that it most certainly isn't. It'll demand a lot from my players." Bayern will seek a high-energy solution to the problem posed by Cottbus.

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

<b>Bayern Munich:</b> Kahn - Sagnol, Luico, Van Buyten, Lahm - Salihamidzic, Ottl, Schweinsteiger, Dos Santos - Makaay, Pizarro

<b>Also in matchday squad:</b> Rensing, Karimi, Lell, Santa Cruz, Podolski, Demichelis, Deisler

<b>Energie Cottbus:</b> Piplica - Da Silva, McKenna, Mitreski, Ziebig - Kukielka, Da Silva - Küntzel, Shao, Munteanu - Radu

<b>Referee:</b> Florian Meyer (Burgdorf)

<b>Bayern's record in the fixture:</b> P3 W3 D0 L0 F11 A1
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