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Ribery and Toni still in doubt for Dortmund

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Ribery and Toni still in doubt for Dortmund

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:24 am


After returning to the Säbener Straße training ground on Friday afternoon, the Bayern squad set about jogging and stretching away the weariness from the UEFA Cup trip to Belgrade, but coach Ottmar Hitzfeld was already contemplating Sunday’s trip to Borussia Dortmund, although the precise composition of the party for the Bundesliga clash will not be known until the day before the game.

Both Franck Ribery and Luca Toni remain doubtful for the match. The Frenchman was restricted to a light jog on Friday. “We’ll have to wait and see if he can train tomorrow. If he can’t, he won’t play,“ Hitzfeld announced. Ribery sat out the game in Belgrade with a knee problem which first became troublesome after last weekend’s visit to Bochum.

<b>Belgrade turf claims no victims</b>

A mood of greater optimism surrounds Toni, who managed most of Friday’s squad workout alongside Andy Ottl, a fellow victim of the flu this week. Daniel van Buyten (hamstring) was unable to do more than jog on Friday and is also a doubt for the weekend.

By contrast, Martin Demichelis is over the same severe flu and came through the session unscathed. “I reckon he’ll play in Dortmund,“ commented Hitzfeld, reiterating his relief that none of the players had sustained injuries on the “diabolical” surface in Belgrade. “It was punishing, and we’ll have to wait and see if the match in Belgrade has any consequences for Sunday.“

<b>Whither Kroos?</b>

Hitzfeld has yet to decide whether to include Toni Kroos in the senior squad for Dortmund, or to send the 17-year-old back to the reserves for the third division side’s trip to their counterparts in Karlsruhe on the same day. “It depends on the selection situation,” the head coach said. Kroos laid on Miroslav Klose’s late equaliser in Belgrade before claiming the stoppage time winner himself, but Hitzfeld is keen to protect his prodigy for the time being. “He should aim to become a dominant figure in the reserves. If he achieves that, we might put him in the senior starting line-up every now and then.“

Sunday’s opponents Dortmund face selection issues of their own. Despite weeks of rehab conditioning, influential players Alexander Frei and Sebastian Kehl are definitely not in contention, although veteran centre-half Christian Wörns is set to return from suspension in place of Markus Brzenska.
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