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Next step back to the top beckons for FCB

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Next step back to the top beckons for FCB

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:15 pm

Bayern have entered the final third of the 2008-9 campaign on a wave of confidence and with a renewed hunger for goals. Following crushing victories over Hannover 96 (5-1) and Sporting Lisbon (7-1), Jürgen Klinsmann's men visit VfL Bochum on Saturday (Live in English from 3.15 pm CET on Web Radio) determined to polish up a poor record of just one point from three away fixtures since the mid-season break.

"It's important we get a decent result away from home again," said Daniel van Buyten ahead of the trip to the Ruhr Valley club, currently in a precarious position just two points above the drop zone in 14th. Paradoxically, VfL have been one of the form teams since the winter break with just one defeat in six games. "It'll be extremely hard work. Bochum will keep it very tight and go in search of an upset," Van Buyten continued.

Striker Miroslav Klose is in no doubt that he and his team-mates will need to go to the limit. "The Bundesliga and the Champions League are two totally different kettles of fish. In the Bundesliga, three-quarters of the teams we play do nothing but defend. You need a very different approach," Klose pointed out. Especially in front of their home crowd, Bochum would be "very tough opponents. We can't take anything for granted, and we'll need to put up a fight."

"We have to be a tad quicker and more aggressive. We have to be prepared for a battle right from the off," Klinsmann urged on Friday. "I want the players to show total commitment." Injury-hit Bochum are likely to set out a highly defensive stall, "so we'll have to be willing to tackle, run and work hard off the ball. Bochum will run and fight as if their lives depended on it, it's always the biggest game of the year up there."

Ribéry still sidelined

However, Klinsmann warned, Saturday's fixture is "another crucial game. We can't afford to drop any more points. The opposite in fact: we urgently need to make up ground." Added Klose: "We all know the hour has come. Our goal has to be recovering first place as soon as possible. And there's no point beating around the bush: we have to win our next two matches."

However, Klinsmann is faced with a long absentee list for the Bochum clash. Luca Toni, Hamit Altintop and Tim Borowski are still sidelined with injury, while Franck Ribéry was unable to take part in Friday's final pre-match training session. "He hasn't completely shaken off the pain. As he's still feeling the injury, it's better if he stays here and does more rehab work, because the next few weeks will be a real challenge. There's no point in rushing it," Klinsmann remarked.

Müller and Yilmaz in squad

Despite the missing stars, the former Germany coach has the reassurance of being able to call on the squad which made such short work of Sporting in midweek. Talented youngsters Thomas Müller and Deniz Yilmaz will join up with the senior side on Saturday after doing duty for the reserves against their Werder Bremen counterparts on Friday.

"We've sent out a signal in Europe, but Bochum will want to lay down a marker of their own in the Bundesliga. They'll be determined to beat us at their own place," Van Buyten said, fully aware of the cauldron awaiting the champions in the former steel city. "They came to us and took a point, so they'll be saying to themselves: why shouldn't we win at home?" However, the Belgian sees only one realistic outcome to Saturday's match: "Our intention was to start a run, and we've taken the first step. It's time for the next step "
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