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Upbeat Reds gear up for run-in to Xmas

News that's automatically retrieved from the official FC Bayern Munich website.

Upbeat Reds gear up for run-in to Xmas

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:05 am


Bastian Schweinsteiger is likely to remember Thursday training for the wrong reasons: the midfielder collected painful knocks to the right ankle in quick succession from Franck Ribery and Mark van Bommel. “Schweini“ even needed treatment after the Dutchman’s intervention, and broke off the session as a precaution.

“It’s nothing serious, only a minor knock,” Ottmar Hitzfeld later reported. The Bayern coach himself helped to ease any lingering pain the player might have been feeling with a piece of good news. “Bastian will be in the squad for Duisburg on Saturday,” Hitzfeld declared. The General did not even rule out a start for Schweinsteiger, finally fit again after a knee inflammation.

<b>Kahn exuding energy</b>

Schweinsteiger will have left the training ground in excellent spirits, although the 23-year-old was not the only Bayern star in a buoyant mood on Thursday. Valerien Ismael, who sealed a winter switch to Hannover 96 the previous day, was visibly delighted at <a href="/en/news/news/2007/14399.php?fcb_sid=a76ee1b6059e752f5dcc296a6c24fcbc" target="_top" class="content_link">the chance of a new start</a> after an injury-plagued eighteen months. Jose Sosa gave off a satisfied impression too, as he is certainly a strong contender for the midfield berth vacated by Hamit Altintop, who <a href="/en/news/news/2007/14369.php?fcb_sid=a76ee1b6059e752f5dcc296a6c24fcbc" target="_top" class="content_link">underwent knee surgery</a> earlier in the week.

And captain Oliver Kahn appeared to be enjoying himself more than ever, hurling himself like a youngster at every cross and shot delivered by his team-mates in the final exercise of the morning, and marking every block with shouts and gestures reminiscent of his penalty save from Pellegrino to win the 2001 Champions League Final in Milan.

<b>Key to success against Duisburg</b>

At the day’s scheduled news conference, Daniel van Buyten was not quite as euphoric as his skipper, but still appeared in the best of spirits. “I’m very happy at the moment because I’m playing. Every game I’m able to play is important to me,” the towering 1,96 metre defender declared. The Belgian, currently in the Bundesliga side due to Lucio’s suspension, is hoping for a string of good displays to stake his claim for selection in the future.

“The mood here is always good, especially in the dressing room,” offered Mark van Bommel, “and it was good out on the pitch today as well.“ The upbeat atmosphere will be important in the run-in to Christmas. Bayern are determined to take maximum points from their three remaining games at home to Duisburg, in Berlin and in the UEFA Cup against Aris Salonika. “Three matches, nine points – that’s our target,“ Van Bommel emphasised.
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