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Hungry Bayern target vital restart victory

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Hungry Bayern target vital restart victory

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:20 pm

After precisely one month without competitive football, Bayern return to action on Friday evening in the top clash of the Bundesliga weekend, as the league leaders open the second half of the 2011/12 campaign away to fourth-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach (Live in English from 8.15 pm CET on Web Radio). FCB are determined to collect all three points and cement their grip on top spot in the standings.

"We're all delighted that it's starting up again. This is what we've all been working towards," boss Jupp Heynckes declared ahead of his team's final pre-match training session on Thursday. "We're up against the surprise team of the season so far. Gladbach will be very motivated, and I know it won't be easy," the coach continued, "we have to be prepared for a fierce fight."

After just under three weeks of mid-season training, and five wins out of five warm-up matches with 28 goals scored and just one conceded, Heynckes feels his men are well-prepared for the big restart fixture. On the eve of the latest return to his former and much-loved stamping ground, the 66-year-old said he was "very confident" of coming away with a positive result. "We want to stop Borussia making a good start after Christmas. We're looking for a restart win in Gladbach," he remarked.

Following their punishing work in training over recent weeks, the players are just as pleased to be resuming the battle for points and the pursuit of three trophies. "We want a good second half of the season, dropping as few points as possible, and setting off on a run right from the start," said striker Mario Gomez. "We want to win the league, so we have to hit the ground running."

Gladbach's defensive strength

Bastian Schweinsteiger agreed with his Germany international team-mate. After recovering from a broken collarbone, the Munich vice-captain is "totally fired up" ahead of his competitive comeback. "Every player knows it could be a fantastic second half of the season, but we have to make a start against Gladbach. We need to be 1,000 percent alert, and immediately recover the form we've shown in nearly all our matches so far."

However, Mönchengladbach have the second-best defensive record in the Bundesliga after Bayern with only 11 goals conceded, and will assuredly be a tough nut for the leaders to crack. "They're very well organised in defence and difficult to play against," Heynckes warned. Gomez called for Bayern "to impose our authority, play our football the way we can, and do it for the full 90 min. If we do, we'll definitely come away with a good result."

Score to settle

"Away to Gladbach won't be easy. We ran into trouble at their place last year, and our approach wasn't right in the reverse fixture at home," Schweinsteiger recalled. The men from the Lower Rhine triumphed 1-0 in Munich on opening day back in August 2011, "so there's a minor score to settle," the Germany midfielder continued, "they're tactically disciplined, but we definitely have superior quality."

Mönchengladbach boss Lucien Favre clearly revelled in casting his team as underdogs. "Bayern are a top team and favourites to win the league. We'll need cool heads and lots of patience, but we're not scared," the Swiss coach said. The home side have not won the corresponding fixture at Borussia Park for more than seven years, and would seemingly be satisfied with a draw. "We definitely want a point here at home," confirmed captain Filip Daems.
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